God’s mercy is his greatest attribute! St Faustina, St. Pope John Paul II and the angelic Doctor Saint Thomas Aquinas agree on this unanimously! Mercy is nothing other than God’s love forgiving the sinner.

God longs to inundate the entire world with His infinite mercy; it is like a burning fire consuming Him that He desires so ardently to bestow on all, but all too few know of His mercy and even less want to receive this free gift.

May we be among those who understand God’s infinite mercy, receive it and also try to promote it.  May we be living Apostles of God’s great mercy. God rejoices in those who trust in His mercy and those who promote it to the entire world!

God chose Saint Faustina Kowalska to be His Secretary of Divine Mercy and ardent promotor of this most sublime of God’s virtues, in the most widely diffused manner through the classic:  “The Diary of mercy in my soul.”

How then can we understand, embrace, live and promote God’s infinite mercy in our own lives and in the concrete circumstances in which we are living right now? We will offer fifteen ways to fall in love with divine mercy so that we can be heralds and apostles of divine mercy so that one day in heaven we will be praising God’s mercy for all eternity.

1.    READ THE DIARY OF DIVINE MERCY IN MY SOUL—ST. FAUSTINA! All of us should have this spiritual classic and masterpiece and get in the habit of reading, meditating, contemplating, praying over, loving and living this most simple but sublime message that God has given to the modern world.  What the world needs today more than ever is to understand and to live the Gospel of mercy.  Every day get into the habit of reading for five minutes or at least a number of the 1820 entries in this gift from God! Start today!  One more suggestion: try to put into practice what you are reading.

2.    ENTHRONE THE IMAGE AND HONOR IT!  Purchase a beautiful image of Divine mercy and enthrone it in your home in a prominent place. Then formally enthrone it through the ministry of the priest. Honor the image frequently. Let those who enter your home be keenly aware of the fact that Jesus the King of Mercy is the King of this home, the King of all those who enter this home. God promises very special blessings upon those who honor this image in time and for all eternity! Promote the enthronement of the Divine Mercy images in other homes. Teach children and young people about God’s infinite mercy!  This will bring great joy to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

3.     CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY.  Get into the habit of praying the Chaplet of Divine mercy as often as possible; it only takes about five minutes. It can be prayed in church, at home, in the car, on the supermarket line, at any time and in any place. Jesus exhorted Saint Faustina to pray it often. This prayer appeases the anger of God and has the power to convert the hardest of sinners. “Through the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

4.    MERCY HOUR. Try to be more and more aware of the mercy hour; this is 3:00 p.m. every day. Jesus asked Saint Faustina to pray the Way of the Cross at this hour, or to visit the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, or at least to unite herself with the passion, agony and death of Jesus on the cross at the mercy hour which was the hour and minute that Jesus died on the cross for the salvation of our souls.  In your case, try at least to remember the mercy hour and to unite yourself with the last agony and death of Jesus on the cross and then beg of the Father for any grace you so desire. Especially pleasing to God is to beg for the conversion of deathbed sinners.  In this moment God the Father is contemplating the agony, suffering and death of His beloved Son Jesus and can deny us nothing! I will often beg the Lord Jesus through His most bitter passion for the conversion and salvation of all those who will die that afternoon and that night. God loves the salvation of souls and so should we.

5.    NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY.  Very pleasing to God is to do the novena of divine mercy. This novena starts on Good Friday and lasts for nine days up until the Solemnity of Divine Mercy, which is the Sunday after Easter Sunday. Each day there is a special prayer intention to be prayed that God inspired Saint Faustina to write in the Diary. The intentions are very inspiring and a model for prayer of petition! This novena can also be prayed any time during the course of the year, but most especially from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday.

6.    MERCY SUNDAY.  Live out to the fullest extent possible Divine Mercy Sunday. As said above this Sunday follows Easter Sunday and it was instituted as a formal Liturgical Feast in the year 2000 (April 30), on the Sunday after Easter by Saint Pope John Paul II. On that same day, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina Kowlaska; she was the first saint to be canonized in the new millennium.   The great Pope of divine mercy, Pope John Paul II declared with heartfelt emotion that this was the happiest day in his life. He felt himself to be a true apostle of divine mercy and to start off the new millennium instituting this Solemnity and canonizing the saint that God used as a key instrument of bringing to the world this extraordinary grace!

7.    OBTAIN THE DIVINE MERCY PROMISE. Among the most extraordinary promises of divine mercy is that promise that we can receive on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is this! If we make a good sacramental confession in the time of Lent or even Easter week, and then receive Holy Communion and Mercy Sunday with great faith, devotion and love then all of our sins of the past are totally forgiven. Not only are our sins forgiven but also the temporal punishment due to these sins are totally forgiven. ”Though your sins be a scarlet, I will make them as white as the snow.”(Is. 1:18) In concrete, this means that we have our baptismal innocence restored to our souls. If we were to die after receiving this privilege then we would go straight to heaven. What an extraordinary grace that we should long to receive every year on mercy Sunday! Spread the Good News to the whole world.

8.    GOOD CONFESSIONS. Another concrete manner that we can live out mercy is to have frequent recourse to the reception of the Sacrament of Confession, also known as the Sacrament of God’s infinite mercy. Every time we make a good sacramental confession the loving Father of the Parable of the Prodigal Son embraces us with the most tender love and there is rejoicing and feasting in heaven among the angels and the saints. (Luke 15) Make it a habit to go at least once a month to the Sacrament of God’s mercy and bring your whole family. Be an apostle of the Sacrament of Confession; this is very pleasing to God. A good sacramental confession inundates us with an ocean of God’s mercy!

9.    BE MERCIFUL AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS MERCIFUL! Mercy indeed is a two-way street, not a one way! If we want to receive God’s mercy in our lives then we must be constantly ready and willing to be merciful to those who have wounded and offended us.  The most famous prayer in the world is the OUR FATHER, in which we pray: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” These words of Our Lord are unambiguously clear: if we want God to forgive us then we must necessarily be willing to forgive others, always, and at all times! Remember the words of command from the Heart of Jesus: “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” Let us take these words seriously to heart!

10. DO ACTS OF MERCY ON A DAILY BASIS.  Jesus also told Saint Faustina that He desires us to practice at least one act of mercy every day.  There are three different ways that this can be carried out: 1) Words—Say a kind word or words to anybody; this can lift their tired, afflicted and wearied spirit; 2) Deeds—Carry out some concrete deed or action of mercy; you might even look up the 8 Corporal or 8 Spiritual works of mercy and try to live out at least one of these on a daily basis; 3) Prayer—to pray for some person is pleasing to God and then falls under the category of doing an act of mercy towards someone. By the way Jesus reminds us that whatever we do to others we actually do to Him. (Mt. 25: 31-46)

11. DYING AND THE CHAPLET.  Of the greatest importance with respect to the salvation of souls is to pray the Chaplet of Divine mercy especially when some person is in his last hours, last moments, and his last agony. These are moments of great trial, tribulation and at times temptation. Jesus promised that if anyone is praying this Chaplet when the person is dying then that soul will be saved. Therefore let us, as Saint Paul reminds us, to fill up what is lacking in the Passion of Christ by striving to save souls by praying the chaplet at the bedside of the dying.

12.DISTRIBUTE DIVINE MERCY CARDS. Another simple but very pleasing practice in the eyes of God is to purchase a packet of 1000 divine mercy cards and simply to distribute them freely. Prayer meetings, funerals, weddings, first Communion Masses, in the park and even in the grocery store—give them out freely and abundantly. God will reward you abundantly!

13.THE EUCHARIST AND DIVINE MERCY.  Get into the habit of visiting the most Blessed Sacrament. In fact every time we are kneeling or praying in front of the most Blessed Sacrament we are in the presence of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus and in contact with His divine mercy. May the rays of His Divine Presence transform your heart into a heart filled with the most noble sentiments of mercy!

14.HOLY COMMUNION AND MERCY. Still greater is that of assisting at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Holy Communion. The truth is that every Holy Communion contains the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. That means we actually receive His most Sacred Heart; in a real sense we have a spiritual HEART-TRANSPLANT every time we receive Holy Communion with faith, devotion and love.

15.OUR LADY AND MERCY. It would be all but incomplete if we did not invite Our Lady to help us to understand, love and live the message of divine mercy. Saint Alphonsus states that we should never fear approaching Our Lady. In God there are two opposing attributes—mercy and justice. However in Our Lady there is pure mercy.  At the end of every Rosary we pray the Hail Holy Queen…. “Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope…” May Our Lady attain for us a deeper and deeper understanding of God’s infinite mercy for souls, of God’s infinite mercy for our family, of God’s infinite mercy for you and me individually!

Conclusion: May the prayer of the Psalmist be the prayer that overflows in our hearts and lives now and forever: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” Let us praise God’s mercy in time so that in heaven we will praise His mercy forever and ever.