Photo by Chip Clark ©, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
THE LAST HOPE OF SALVATION
Jesus speaks to St. Faustina of the many ways He is pouring out special graces upon souls during this time of Mercy. One is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter, which begins with the first Masses tonight (note: to receive the special graces of this day, we are required to go Confession within 20 days, and receive communion in a state of grace. See The Last Hope of Salvation.) But Jesus also speaks about the Mercy He wishes to lavish on souls through the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Divine Mercy Image, and the Hour of Mercy, which begins at 3 p.m. each day.
But really, every day, every minute, every second, we can access the mercy and grace of Jesus very simply:
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51)
We may come to Jesus any time with a little heart—the heart of a child—confessing our sins, and trusting in Him to save us, despite ourselves. In fact, Jesus is constantly coming to us, thirsting for such a heart:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)
So then why—why this special Sunday, or the Chaplet, or an image…?
Even though the sun shines on the earth from dawn till dusk, there are certain periods of the day when the sun is most intense, when its heat is greatest, and its light most direct. When the sun rises in the morning, or when it sets at eve, it is the same sun, and yet there is not the same intensity and heat necessary, for example, for fruit or corn to grow.
The graces of "Divine Mercy" are like those periods of the "day" when Jesus, the Son of God, is offering us an intensification of graces. It’s not that Christ ceases to shine upon us on the other Sundays during the year, or during other hours of the day. However, Christ is making us aware that at certain periods in the calendar year, and during the day, the Sun of Mercy will be shining most intensely, offering the most light: special graces at those times. For many souls, the need to be present (or made present through the intercession of others) during these periods is essential for their souls at this time in history. That is why Christ calls these graces "the last hope of salvation," because for many who are living their final hours or days of life, and for many more who have not availed themselves of the normal avenues of grace, these tangible signs and opportunities will be crucial in order for them to recognize their need for Jesus. Their need for His Mercy.
Indeed, each and every soul needs to grow in understanding of our need for this wonderful Mercy, and to accept it more and more.
TREASURY OF LOVE
Yes, there many facets on the Jewel of Mercy: Confession, the Eucharist, The Divine Mercy Chaplet, The Rosary, First Fridays, The Scapular, etc. God is making His graces available in ways in which we can see, touch, taste, and experience. The door of His Treasury is wide open.
But it is up to us to open the doors of hearts to Him.
I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy… let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. —Jesus, to St. Faustina, Diary, n. 687, 848