Start your day here! A Daily offering of self to Christ. You do not have to be perfect. God’s Mercy is at work in your life. Open your eyes to His Presence and begin by consecrating yourself to His Mercy today!
“For Christ’s Love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore al died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again”. (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
First, let’s state unequivocally that God is Love. Outside of our current personal situation, this is one, among other facts, that is objectively and unchangeably true. It is a fact, for instance, that gravity keeps us on grounded. We know for a fact that only women have children; we know factually that everyone’s life on earth will eventually end; but among the rest of the other facts, it is irrevocable that God is Love.
This is the root of our Christian faith. In his first encyclical (Deus Caritas Est), Pope Benedict XVI joins the apostle Paul in saying “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” ( 1 Jn 4:16). He concludes his first paragraph with what is the most impacting reality in Christianity, what has fed the cause of Creation, Jesus‘ death for sinners, the self-giving of the apostles, the surrendering of martyrs, the leadership of Popes, and fervour of clergy and faithful: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.” (1 Jn 4:16) The very apostle Paul have grown convinced that that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39) Our beloved Pope John Paul II has said “God loves us not because we have merited it or are worthy of it; rather, God’s love for us is freely given and unearned, surpassing all we could ever hope for or imagine.” St. Alphonsus Liguori states “Consider that no one – whether friend or brother, father or mother, lover or spouse – loves you more than your God.” St. Augustine has said “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.” St. Philips Neri would stand during Mass Celebration and all he could say was God is love. “So ardently did this fire of divine love affect him during the octave of Pentecost in his twenty-ninth year that the beating of his heart broke two ribs. It was a wound that never healed. “
St. Margarate Mary Alocoque has told us that God loves us with a passionate love which was revealed to her in the apparitions of Jesus’ “Sacred Heart.” St. Faustina has written in her diary “Mercy in my soul” that she has come to know that God loves her. (Diary, #16). In brief, the number of Christians in our history who has come to this realization is endless and will take more paper than we have to list them all. Yet, the story of Rev. John Hardon is not uncommon in our midst as he explains “In my forty-two years in the priesthood I have dealt with many souls and have been involved in many problems. I believe the hardest mystery we are called on to believe, when everything is against it, is that God does love us.” In her diary again, St. Faustina cries “Oh, if only souls would want to understand how much God loves them!” (Diary, #1073).
Have we ever stopped to think where Love comes from? Love has never been created. It has stood eternally outside of our earthly time. Before we were conceived and our birth had colour another day in our chronological history, Love, standing in the eternal now, knew us (Jer 1:4-5). The word “know” or “knowledge” often denotes intimate personal fellowship, not merely knowledge of someone. It implies a choice from God, a purpose behind that choice, and a meaning seeded, granted, and imparted by the reality of the Lover’s desire. As we were created in His image, we stand different from other creatures in our intellect, free will, and the very capacity to Love. These allow for the emergence of unique talents, gifts, and personality traits grown out the Trinitarian seed. These personality’s gifts find their meaning and full realization when reflecting and living in the Trinity – Our Creator.
Furthermore, our gifts find their full potential as a response to The Love that gives rather than takes. It goes often unnoticed that if God was to stop loving us, we would simply cease to exist. Yet, despite Love being our very life source, Love does not use or take from us. It simply gives and seeks, as a tirelessly lover, for the beloved’s reciprocity or the beloved’s self-offering. Love still knows us. Each of our hairs in our head is counted. Love sees when we sit and raise. (Psalm 139). Love is our Father (Gen 1:26) and aware of each one of our faults including those who we hide in our hearts. The Father is aware of the special value that we hold for we are His sons/daughters. We are naturally and irrevocably His offspring (Acts 17:28). We were chosen when creation was planned (Ephesians 1:11-12), and our days have already been written in God’s book (Ephesians 1:11-12). Being His little child, God the Father desires to lavish on us (1 John 3:1).
Ironically, while our hearts are desperately seeking that perfect Love that could satisfy all of our longings; Supreme Love is tirelessly seeking for us. When we are not intimately united (in love) with God, our hearts cannot help but to seek. It will spend countless hours if necessary trying a myriad of relationships, material things, or a number of other activities that could mimic this love. St. Agustin experienced such longing and frustration himself. He prayed “You have made us for you Lord and our hearts will be resettles until they rest in you.”
What is the condition of our heart? Joyful? Peaceful? Restless? Here is a quick examination of heart to help determine where we are. Please answer the following questions:
Do I feel judged? By who?
Do I feel secured in being someone who is loved?
Do I feel accomplished? Do I feel confident that my talents are being utilized to their maximum potential and meaning?
Do I feel as if I belong to someone or something? Who do I belong to?
Do I feel a property of Jesus? Do I feel a property of Love?
What is contingent on my happiness?
What do I trust?
Whether we realize it or not, we are consecrating ourselves daily to either the world or to God. Thankfully we have consecrated ourselves to God by means of baptism. Our sins are washed away by Christ’s offering and we have become sons and daughters of Love through our baptism in Christ. In a way, we have been caught in the Trinity. This is the kind of love that our hearts have always desired. Christ, who is God, offers Himself to the Father in replacement for the self-offering that has been sought from us providing us to have a full relationship with the Father, restoring Trust, and bringing us into the indeweling of the Holy Spirit.
If you are consecrated to Christ, you are simply God’s property.
In today’s time, I believe Jesus is making us a unique call to consecrate ourselves to the charism of Mercy. That is to take refuge, be restored, and be united with God becoming witnesses and instruments of His Mercy. Whether we are priests, nun, religious, lay faith, sinners or saints, we must consecrated ourselves to Divine Mercy. We are not stepping away from the affirmation that God is Love which we have heard from so many. Divine Love is Divine Mercy dying for the sinner, by means of the sinner, while offering Himself to the Father as atonement and asking for the sinner’s forgiveness. Mercy is the root of our conversion, the mission of Christ and our Catholic faith; it is perfect charity, what moves us to forgive, to trust, to mature in God’s holiness, and to pray. It is to understand that God loves us.
As we follow this consecration prayer, we become property of Divine Mercy. This in turn includes veneration of God’s Mercy. Miraculously, Jesus tells us how we are able to accomplish this (in the diary of St. Faustina):
1) Venerating His Image of Divine Mercy.
Consecrating ourselves to Divine Mercy must entail venerating His Divine Mercy, remembering the water that baptized us and the blood that cleansed us. “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you” (Diary, #84)
2) Praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Loves entails a giving of self. God, our Father, is asking us to offer Him a sacrifice of Love that would be a manifestation of our love for Him. What would your offering be today? You’re Will? You’re Sins? His Sons?
3) Spreading the message of Mercy.
Jesus came to the world ONLY for sinners (Lk 19:10; Mk 2:17). Living apart from God is to be on the road of self- destruction and God, in His Love, seeks to save us by giving us His Love, His Mercy, and eternal joy. As instruments of Mercy, we are never to judge others but to always be merciful. We will in this way spread the very Mercy and Love of God.
4) The Feast of Divine Mercy.
Jesus told St. Faustina that He desires that “the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy” (#299) St. Faustina made the comment to Jesus “I am very surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?” Jesus replied “And who knows anything about this feast?”
5) Remembering the Hour of Mercy
The prophet Isaiah exclaims “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus was indeed condemned to death and crucified. It is believed by many that He died at 3:00 o’ clock in the afternoon. In the nun’s diary, Jesus says “I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice.” (Diary, 1572)
A daily consecration to God’s Mercy does the following:
1) It helps us fix our eyes on Jesus and His Mercy and overcome our sinful habits.
2) It gives us the daily opportunity to repent from our sins and to turn to God.
3) It prepares us to be used as instruments of Mercy
4) It gives our monotonous life an immeasurable worth given that our every action would be united to Christ allowing our suffering and joys to gain merits towards the conversion of sinners.
Stop making excuses. Your sins are not enough to stop God from taking you in. The whole mission of Jesus is to bring you into that perfect love you are seeking. Jesus has said that while dying on the Cross, “I was not thinking about myself, but about poor sinners” (#324). “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for Poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy.” (#367)
Despite your misery, Jesus can use your heart as a dwelling place. “I unite Myself with you, take away your misery and give you My mercy. I perform works of mercy in every soul…. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are Mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool. (#723)
Be His today.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready. (Rev 19:7)
National i Conference of Catholic Bishops. Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis. (1997) http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/ctoresp.shtml#N_20_
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, Founder of the Redemptorists
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