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More Than a Hill of Beans

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By Mark Endres

Several years ago, I read about a coffee shop in Minnesota called St. James Coffee — a wonderful place for people to drink, eat, pray, and talk freely about their faith.

I thought, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a 'Divine Mercy' coffee shop in my local town of Madison, Wisconsin?" I started to think about what it would take.

I often use the term "Divine Mercy Bank and Trust" with my family when I need money from Heaven to pull off evangelization ventures. (I find myself constantly ­­­seeking ways to promote the Divine Mercy message and devotion, particularly the Divine Mercy Image.) In this case, I quickly realized that, to succeed, I'd need not only substantial food and beverage sales, but also substantial donations.

On more than one occasion, I've learned the hard way that my desire to carry out great deeds for the Lord isn't always met with success. As Jesus reminds us in the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska He knows pride when He sees it. He told St. Faustina:

The greatest works are worthless in My eyes if they are done out of self-will, and often they are not in accord with My will and merit punishment rather than reward. ... Know that of yourself you can do nothing (639).


So, after a short time, I moved on and realized that a "Divine Mercy" coffee shop would be too great a challenge for me to pull off with my limited resources. But then, one day, I took a vacation day from work. I had to bring my car in for some repairs. Afterwards, I decided to go to a local coffee shop that is comfortable, has a nice street view, and is very popular.

It's called Crescendo. A crescendo is defined as a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force. As it turned out, how fitting! To my great surprise, as I was ordering my coffee and bagel I noticed that just to the left of the cashier, on the door of a large cooler, were two Divine Mercy magnets in plain view with the words "Jesus, I Trust In You." The magnets are the very ones I produce and hand out to local churches!

I'd estimate several hundred people per week come into Crescendo and get a glimpse of the Divine Mercy image of Jesus. I was stunned. I quickly took out my phone and took a blurry picture to show my wife.

So Jesus answered my prayers in His way, not mine!

My dream of a "Divine Mercy coffee shop" came true, right? I don't know for how long, but that is of no concern to me. And I have no idea who put those magnets there.

Jesus just needed me to scale back my business plan a bit and do my small part. Jesus now has a Divine Mercy coffee shop on the ever-popular Monroe Street in Madison, two blocks from the University of Wisconsin football stadium.

So, for me — though it's not always something I want to hear — it seems a gradual, steady promotion of the Divine Mercy Image works best. For now, anyway.

As Jesus told St. Faustina, "I find pleasure, not in large buildings and magnificent structures, but in a pure and humble heart" (532).

Mark Endres includes in his evangelizing efforts producing Divine Mercy bumper stickers. You can email him at contactwhs@aol.com to learn more.

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