WHENEVER I write of “chastisements” or “divine justice,” I always cringe, because so often these terms are misunderstood. Because of our own woundedness, and thus distorted views of “justice”, we project our misconceptions on God. We see justice as “hitting back” or others getting “what they deserve.” But what we often don’t understand is that the “chastisements” of God, the “punishments” of the Father, are rooted always, always, always, in love.
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him… For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. (Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:6)
Yes, perhaps we do deserve our “just deserts” as they say. But that’s precisely why Jesus has come: literally, to take the punishment due humanity upon Himself, something only God could do.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)
O, the love of Jesus for you is the greatest love story ever told. If you have seriously messed up your life, He awaits to heal you, to be your Shepherd and the Guardian of your soul. That is why we call the gospels “good news.”
Scripture does not say that God is loving, but that He is love. He is the very “substance” of that which every human heart longs for. And love sometimes must act in a way to save us from ourselves. So when we speak of chastisements befalling the earth, really, we are speaking of his His merciful justice.
I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1588
For some, that impetus to repent may only come in the very midst of coming chastisements, even moments before they take their last breath (see Mercy in Chaos). But what terrible risks souls take in staying out upon the sea of sin as this Great Hurricane in our times approaches! It is time to find true shelter in this coming Storm. I am speaking most especially to you who feel as though you are damned and beyond hope.
You are not, unless you wish to be.
God does not want to crush abortionists, pornographers, adulterers, drunkards, liars, slanderers, and souls consumed in self-love, riches, and greed. He wants to turn them back to His Heart. He wants all of us to recognize that He is our true pole. He, the “Substance” called Love, is the true longing of our hearts; He is the true Refuge and Safe Harbour in the present and coming Storm beginning to shake the world… and He welcomes every single sinner upon the face of the earth to find shelter there. That is to say, His Mercy is our refuge.
The flames of mercy are burning Me—clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 177
In fact, dear reader, He is urgently begging us to enter into this Refuge before it is too late.
Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. —Mother of God to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 635
COME, O DOUBTING SINNER…
To you who believe God is merciful, but doubt His goodness and love for you, see I am Not Worthy who feel that He has forgotten and abandoned you, He says…
…the Lord comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. (Isaiah 49:13-15)
He looks upon you now, as He did upon His Apostles who feared and doubted because of the waves of a stormcf. Mark 4:35-41 — even though Jesus was with them in the boat —and He says:
My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486
You think that your sins are an obstacle to God. But it is precisely because of your sins that He rushes to open up His Heart to you.
The sinner who feels within himself a total deprivation of all that is holy, pure, and solemn because of sin, the sinner who in his own eyes is in utter darkness, severed from the hope of salvation, from the light of life, and from the communion of saints, is himself the friend whom Jesus invited to dinner, the one who was asked to come out from behind the hedges, the one asked to be a partner in His wedding and an heir to God… Whoever is poor, hungry, sinful, fallen or ignorant is the guest of Christ. —Matthew the Poor, The Communion of Love, p.93
Through confession of your faultscf. Confession Passé? and trusting in His goodness, an ocean of graces becomes available to you. No, your sins are not a stumbling block for God; they are a stumbling block for you when you do not trust in His Mercy.
The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is—trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1578
The Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains. (Psalm 69:3)
COME, O DISCOURAGED SINNER…
To you who are striving to be good, and yet fall and fall, denying Him as Peter denied Him,see The Paralyzed Soul He says:
Do not be absorbed in your misery—you are still too weak to speak of it—but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486
With the same mercy and confidence He showed in Peter after his denial, Jesus says to you now:
My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1488
See how little you are! Be humbled by your weakness and inability to do much good. See, you are like a little child… a child who needs his Papa. So come to Me…
As for me in my poverty and pain, let your help, O God, lift me up. (Psalm 69:3)
COME, O FEARFUL SINNER…
To you who feel that your sinfulness has depleted the mercies of God,see A Miracle of Mercy He says…
The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1485
To you who are afraid to approach Him yet again with the same sins, the same weaknesses, He replies:
Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy… fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1488
This is the one whom I approve: the lowly and broken man who trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)
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. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 367
COME, O STRIVING SINNER
To the one who trusts, and yet fails, who tries, but does not succeed, who desires, but never attains, He says:
If you do not succeed in taking advantage of an opportunity, do not lose your peace, but humble yourself profoundly before Me and, with great trust, immerse yourself completely in My mercy. In this way, you gain more than you have lost, because more favor is granted to a humble soul than the soul itself asks for… —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1361
…a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (Psalm 51:19)
Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1485
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. (Matt 10:8)
COME, O HARDENED SINNER…
I hear Jesus reaching across the internet, across the gulf between Him and you today, you whose sins are so black such that you feel God could not possibly want you… that it is too late.see To Those in Mortal Sin And He says…
…between Me and you there is a bottomless abyss, an abyss which separates the Creator from the creature. But this abyss is filled with My mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1576
What seems then to be an impossible breach between you and God see A Letter of Sorrow has now been restored through the death and resurrection of Jesus. You need only cross over this bridge to His Heart, over the Bridge of Mercy…
O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy… Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet… I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486, 699, 1146
My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger… (Hosea 11:8-9)
To you, so weakened and hardened by addiction to sin, see The Tiger in the Cage He says:
Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1485
See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you… (Isaiah 49:16)
If He could turn to a thief in his dying moments upon the cross beside Him and welcome him into paradise, cf. Luke 23:42 will not Jesus, who died for you, not also grant the same mercy to you who ask? As a dear priest I know often says, “The good thief stole paradise. So, then, steal it! Jesus wants you to steal paradise!” Christ didn’t die for the righteous, but precisely for sinners, yes, even the most hardened sinner.
A soul’s greatest wretchedness does not enkindle Me with wrath; but rather, My Heart is moved towards it with great mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1739
Let the words of the good thief, then, become your own:
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. (Luke 23:42)
On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit. (Isaiah 57:15)
THE SAFE HARBOUR
The place of “anchoring” for the soul is one that Jesus carefully established in His Church. After His resurrection, Jesus met once again with His Apostles to establish a true harbour for souls:
He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)
Thus, a new sacrament was established, called “Confession.”
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
And we confess our sins to the only ones who have the authority to forgive, that is, the Apostles and their successors (bishops, and priests to whom this authority is conferred). And here is the beautiful promise of Christ to sinners:
Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1448
“…those who go to Confession frequently, and do so with the desire to make progress” will notice the strides that they make in their spiritual lives. “It would be an illusion to seek after holiness, according to the vocation one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and reconciliation.” —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Penitentiary conference, March 27th, 2004; catholicculture.org
Who, then, is excluded from the safety of this Great Harbour during the purification of the earth that must come?see The Great Purification No soul! No soul! …no soul—except the one who refuses to receive and trust in His great Mercy and forgiveness.
Can you not perceive all around you the Great Storm into which humanity has entered?see Are You Ready? As the earth shakes, can you not see that our present conditions of discouragement, fear, doubt and hard-heartedness need to be shaken as well? Can you see that your life is like a blade of grass that is here today but gone tomorrow? Then quickly enter into this safe refuge, the Great Refuge of His Mercy, where you will be safe from the most dangerous of waves that are going to come in this Storm: a tsunami of deceptionsee The Coming Counterfeit that will sweep away all those who have fallen in love with the world and their sin and who would rather worship their possessions and bellies than the God who loves them, those “who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing” (2 Thess 2:12). Let nothing—nothing—stop you this day from crying out from the bottom of your heart: “Jesus, I trust in you!“
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord, and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord. (Acts 2:20-21)
Open the sails of trust, then, and let the winds of His Mercy carry you home to His Father… your Father who loves you with an everlasting love. As one friend wrote recently in a letter, “I think we have forgotten that we don’t have to search for happiness; we just need to crawl up into His lap and let Him love us.”
For Love has already sought us out…
First published March 20th, 2011.
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|1.||↑||see I am Not Worthy|
|2.||↑||cf. Mark 4:35-41|
|3.||↑||cf. Confession Passé?|
|4.||↑||see The Paralyzed Soul|
|5.||↑||see A Miracle of Mercy|
|6.||↑||see The Rocky Heart; The Novena of Abandonment|
|7.||↑||see To Those in Mortal Sin|
|8.||↑||see A Letter of Sorrow|
|9.||↑||see The Tiger in the Cage|
|10.||↑||cf. Luke 23:42|
|11.||↑||see The Great Purification|
|12.||↑||see Are You Ready?|
|13.||↑||see The Coming Counterfeit|