Photo: Felix Carroll
The Gospel Validity of the Messages
The following is an excerpt from the revised edition of Tell My Priests, by Fr. George W. Kosicki, CSB (Marian Press, 2012), which gathers the words our Lord spoke to priests about His mercy as revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska:
The six messages of our Lord and Our Lady addressed to St. Faustina in regard to priests are entirely in keeping with Pope John Paul II's criterion for acceptable private revelations. They contain "a truth and a call whose basic content is the truth and call of the Gospel itself" (Homily at Fatima, 1982).
This Gospel dimension of the messages can be most clearly seen by re-examining each message, isolating a few key words that summarize its basic content, and then comparing these key words to some of the many texts of the Old and New Testaments that speak of trust in God and of His mercy.
I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me — clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls (Diary, 50).
• Preach the Lord's great mercy
• Reach out to sinners
• Tell them of God's desire to be merciful
Mt 4:17 "From that time on Jesus began to proclaim this theme: 'Reform your lives! The kingdom of God is at hand.'"
Mt 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for My yoke is easy and My burden light."
Lk 6:36: "Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate."
Jn 19:28 "I am thirsty."
Rom 10:12b-15b All have the same Lord, rich in mercy towards all who call upon Him. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." But how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of Him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach? And how can men preach unless they are sent?
Lk 15:32 Prodigal Son — "But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found."
My daughter, speak to priests about this incon- ceivable mercy of Mine. 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 (Diary, 177).
• Priests themselves need to know the Lord's mercy and trust Him.
Jn 13:1 He loved His own in this world, and would show His love for them to the end [utmost].
Jn 15:13 "There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Jn 15:15 "... I call you friends since I have made known to you all that I heard from My Father."
No soul will be justified until it turns with confi- dence to My mercy, and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy. I am making you the admin- istrator of My mercy. Tell the confessor that the image is to be on view in the church and not within the enclosure in that convent. By means of this image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let everyone have access to it (Diary, 570).
• Souls need mercy for salvation.
• The Feast of Mercy is a day of forgiveness and atonement.
• Priests are to tell everyone of the Lord's great mercy.
• The image of The Divine Mercy (Jesus with His hand raised in blessing) is a vessel of grace.
Gal 2:20b [He] loved me and gave Himself for me.
2 Cor 5:14-15 The love of Christ impels us who have reached the conviction that since one died for all, all died. He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him who for their sake died and was raised up.
Jn 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. "Peace be with you," He said. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. "Peace be with you," He said again. "As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." Then He breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are bound."
Sir 50:14-21 (Simon, the high priest, on the day of atonement:)
Once he had completed the services at the altar with the arranging of the sacrifices for the Most High, and had stretched forth his hand for the cup, to offer blood of the grape, and poured it out at the foot of the altar ... The sons of Aaron would sound a blast ... as a reminder before the Most High. Then all the people with one accord would quickly fall prostrate to the ground in adoration before the Most High, before the Holy One of Israel. ... All the people of the land would shout for joy, praying to the Merciful One. ... Then coming down he [the high priest] would raise his hands over the congregation of Israel. The blessing of the Lord would be upon his lips, the name of the Lord [Yahweh] would be his glory. Then again the people would lie prostrate to receive from him the blessing of the Most High.
Lk 24:50-52 Then He led them out near Bethany, and with His hands upraised, blessed them. As He blessed them, He left them, and was taken up to heaven. They fell down to do Him reverence.
Acts 3:26 When God raised up His servant, He sent Him first to bless you by turning you from your evil ways.
Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he recites this chaplet only once, he will receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (Diary, 687).
• Pray the chaplet
• Recommend the chaplet to the dying to sinners
• The Lord wants the whole world to know to receive to trust in — His infinite mercy
• Words of the chaplet:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
1 Jn 2:2 He is an offering [atonement] for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world.
1 Cor 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
Is 6:3 "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts!" they cried one to another. "All the earth is filled with His glory!"
Is 57:15 For thus says He who is high and exalted, living eternally, whose name is the Holy One: On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit, to revive the spirits of the rejected, to revive the hearts of the crushed.
1 Pt 2:5 You too are living stones, built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Heb 13:15-16 Through Him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge His name. Do not neglect good deeds and generosity: God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.
Heb 13:20-21 May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus Christ our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His will.
Heb 4:16 So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and find help in time of need.
Mt 5:7 "Blest are they that show mercy; mercy shall be theirs."
Mt 6:33 "Seek first His kingship over you, His way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides."
Lk 12:32-34 "Do not live in fear, little flock. It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. ... Wherever your treasure lies, there your heart will be."
Eph 2:4-5 God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin.
2 Cor 1:3-4 Praised be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consola- tion! He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from Him.
2 Cor 1:9-11 We were left to feel like men condemned to death so that we might trust, not in ourselves, but in God who raised the dead. He rescued us from the danger of death and will continue to do so. We have put our hope in Him who will never cease to deliver us. But you must help us with your prayers, so that on our behalf God may be thanked for the gifts granted us through the prayers of so many.
Rom 11:32-36 God has imprisoned all in disobedience that He might have mercy on all. How deep are the riches and the wisdom of God! How inscrutable His judgments, how unsearchable His ways! For "who has been His counselor? Who has given Him anything so as to deserve return?" For from Him and for Him all things are. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words, when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart. To priests who will proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power, and I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak (Diary, 1521).
• Glorify the Lord's mercy
• Proclaim His mercy
• Wondrous power will be given
• Hearts will be opened
Mk 6:12-13 With that they went off, preaching the need of repentance. They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures.
Jn 14:12 "I solemnly assure you, the man who has faith in Me will do the works I do and greater than these."
Acts 2:37-38 When they heard this, they were deeply shaken. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do brothers?" Peter answered: "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 3:6-8 Then Peter said: "I have neither silver nor gold but what I have I give you! In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean, walk!" Then Peter took him by the right hand and pulled him up. Immediately the begger's feet and ankles became strong; he jumped up, stood up for a moment, then began to walk around. He went into the temple with them — walking, jumping about, and giving praise to God.
A vision of the Mother of God. In the midst of a great brilliance, I saw the Mother of God clothed in a white gown, girt about with a golden cincture; and there were tiny stars, also of gold, over the whole garment, and chevron-shaped sleeves lined with gold. Her cloak was sky-blue, lightly thrown over the shoulders. A transpar- ent veil was delicately drawn over her head, while her flowing hair was set off beautifully by a golden crown which terminated in little crosses. On her left arm she held the Child Jesus. A Blessed Mother of this type I had not yet seen. Then she looked at me kindly and said, I am the Mother of God of Priests. At that, she lowered Jesus from her arm to the ground, raised Her right hand heavenward and said: "O God, bless Poland, bless priests. Then she addressed me once again: Tell the priests what you have seen. I resolved that at the very first opportunity [I would have] of seeing Father [Andrasz] I would tell; but I myself can make nothing of this vision (Diary, 1585).
• Mary is Mother of God and our mother
• Be witnesses of what you have seen
Jn 19:26-27 Seeing His mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, "Woman, there is your son." In turn He said to His disciple, "There is your mother." From that hour onward, the
disciple took her into his care.
Jn 19:34 One of the soldiers thrust a lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. This testimony has been given by an eye witness, and his testimony is true. He tells what he knows is true, so that you may believe.
Lk 1:49-50 "God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him."
Acts 1:14 Together they devoted themselves to constant prayer. There were some women in their company, and Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers.
In regard to the stars on our Lady's robe and her royal dignity, consider these passages:
Dn 12:3 But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to jus- tice shall be like the stars forever.
Ps 45:10 The queen stands at your right hand arrayed in cloth of gold (Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Entrance Antiphon).
As we reflect on the relationship between the Gospel and Divine Mercy, we close with this amazing, power-packed statement of Pope Benedict XVI from his Regina Caeli message on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2008:
Indeed, mercy is the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God, the Face with which he revealed himself in the Old Covenant and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redemptive Love. May this merciful love also shine on the face of the Church and show itself through the sacraments, in particular that of Reconciliation, and in works of charity, both communitarian and individual. May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for man, and therefore for us. When the Church has to recall and unrecog- nized truth or a betrayed good, she always does so impelled by merciful love, so that men and women may have life and have it abundantly (cf. Jn 10:10). From Divine Mercy, which brings peace to hearts, genuine peace flows into the world, peace between different peoples, cultures and religions.
Father George W. Kosicki is a longtime collaborator with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in spreading the message of Divine Mercy. In 1987, he headed their Divine Mercy Department in Stockbridge, Mass., which was responsible for editing and proofing the English translation of the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.