Rays of Merciful Love Summer_2019

R AYS OF M ERCIFUL L OVE “Mercy is love that seeks to lessen the misery of others” — Bryan Thatcher, MD Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy Newsletter Summer 2019 W e know that the hall- mark of living the message of mercy is trust in God. Jesus instructed St. Faustina to put the words “Jesus, I trust in You” at the bottom of the Divine Mercy Image (see Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska , 47). But an equally important facet of receiving and radiating God’s mercy involves the element of for- giveness. Forgiveness, in itself, is an act of mercy. It opens the door of our hearts, so to speak, so that we are able to accept Jesus’ rays of mercy and radiate that mercy to others. Lack of forgiveness is often a stumbling block to interior healing. It holds us back and is a burden that makes it extremely difficult to ever be able to say what St. Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7). We all know the saying, “forgive and forget.” But we seldom forgive and rarely forget. A few years ago I was giving a mission at a parish in Canada. On the first night, I spoke on forgiveness. The next evening a gentleman came up to me and said, “After your talk last night, I knew I needed to call my cousin. My parents and her parents had fought for years and never spoke to each other. After our parents died, we just continued not speaking to each other. I called her up and asked if we could meet and talk and seek rec- onciliation. She immediately started sobbing and was so happy to hear my voice. We are meeting next week, and I am so happy that I reached out to her. Thank you for your talk on forgiveness and I am so happy that we are getting together next week.” Years ago, an event happened in our cenacle group that I will never forget. The week’s lesson was on forgiveness, and the following week Teresa came to the group and said, “Let me tell you what happened since our last meeting. On Wednesday my daughter called and said that my first husband was terminally ill. We have been divorced for 20 years, and since the marriage broke up, there has never been a kind word between us. I had her call him and see if the two of us could visit him on Friday. We met, and he had so much anger. He laid into me really good over all the mistakes I had made, but I also told him how he had hurt me as well. When it was all said and done, we forgave each other, cried, hugged, and said our goodbyes. The next day he called in a priest and received the Sacraments of Reconcilia- tion, Eucharist, and Anointing of the Sick. The following day he died.” I’ll never forget those stories. They pointed out to me the importance of someone taking the first step. And if you look at the Image of Divine Mercy, Jesus’ one knee is bent as if He is walking towards us and taking that first step. And, remember that if we reach out and get rejected, we should be at peace and move on as we did what we needed to do. Saint Faustina wrote, “We resemble God most when we forgive our neighbors. God is Love, Goodness, and Mercy” ( Diary, 1148). If we truly want to be a reflection of the image and God’s love, we must forgive each other and ourselves as well. Families are broken, people are hurting, and God is calling us now to live the message of Divine Mercy in a deeper way. Remember and ponder the words of St. Faustina from her Diary, “We resemble God most when we forgive our neighbor.” Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Forgiveness and the message of mercy By Bryan Thatcher, MD forgive