Today is the feast day of a very special saint, Saint Faustina! She is the saint of Divine Mercy, and because of her great fidelity to Jesus, and His call to her, the Feast of Divine Mercy now exists in the Church on the Sunday after Easter. And the entire Church has learned from her the great mystery of the Mercy of God in a fresh way. So much so that we find ourselves now in “The Jubilee Year of Mercy” instituted by Pope Francis. This year has been a tidal wave of mercy, a time to immerse ourselves in the great mystery of God’s mercy for us, and the beautiful call to be mercy for others.
St. Faustina had a beautiful relationship with Our Lady. She understood Our Lady as her mother very personally. When I read the first part of the October 2, 2016 message, I thought of St. Faustina and her relationship with Mary. Here is the first part of the message:
“Dear children, the Holy Spirit, according to the Heavenly Father, made me the mother – the mother of Jesus – and by this alone, also your mother. That is why I am coming to hear you, that I may open my motherly arms to you; to give you my heart and to call you to remain with me, because from the top of the cross my Son entrusted you to me…” (October 2, 2016)
Our Lady longs to draw us into her embrace and give us her heart, to be our mother. St. Faustina experienced Our Lady’s desire to embrace her and love her in a similar way:
Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.
From early morning, I felt the nearness of the Blessed Mother. During Holy Mass, I saw Her, so lovely and so beautiful that I have no words to express even a small part of this beauty. She was all [in] white, with a blue sash around Her waist. Her cloak was also blue, and there was a crown on Her head. Marvelous light streamed forth from Her whole figure. I am the Queen of heaven and earth, but especially the Mother of your [Congregation]. She pressed me to Her heart and said, I feel constant compassion for you. I felt the force of Her Immaculate Heart which was communicated to my soul. Now I understand why I have been preparing for this feast for two months and have been looking forward to it with such yearning. From today onwards, I am going to strive for the greatest purity of soul, that the rays of God’s grace may be reflected in all their brilliance. I long to be a crystal in order to find favor in His eyes. (805, Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska)
May we all feel the “force of Her Immaculate Heart…communicated to [our] soul[s]!” Her motherly love is essential to our lives. With Our Lady’s love we too can strive for the greatest purity of soul! Her love will help us to grow in love for her Son.