Photo: Felix Carroll

Is Divine Mercy for All Christians?

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By Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC (Jul 19, 2011)
One reader writes, "Is the message of Divine Mercy only for Catholics, or is it ecumenical?"

Two thoughts from the revelations of Jesus to St. Faustina seem to give us the answer to this question: "Ask of My faithful servant [Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko] that, on this day, he tell the whole world of My great mercy. ... Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy" (Diary of St. Faustina, 300). Jesus says nothing about limiting this message to Catholics. He wants everyone to know about His great mercy and His desire to forgive us, heal us, and bring us peace.

The Bible is filled with examples of the longing of the Lord to make Himself known to the ends of the earth. In the Old Testament, after God healed Naaman the Syrian from leprosy through the Prophet Elisha, Naaman said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel" (2 Kgs 5:15). Naaman came to know the Lord because mercy was extended to him.

Some of our Protestant brothers and sisters may question some aspects of our Catholic faith such as the Communion of Saints, the role of Our Lady, and the doctrine on purgatory. However, all Christians can agree that we are redeemed through the death of Christ on the cross. There is no reason, therefore, why all Christians could not pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, since it focuses on our redemption in Christ.

To show being merciful is essential to God's character and to our call as Christians, Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, points to three sayings from the Scriptures that are intimately related: "Be holy, for the Lord your God is holy"; "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect"; and "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

All mean the same thing: We are all called to be like God, and that means being merciful as God is merciful.

Father Joe Roesch, MIC, is the Marians' vicar general. He lives in Rome, Italy.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

leo - Oct 5, 2011

I'm relieved to see that this prayer is for every christian as I have shared it w many. For the first time someone that i shared the prayer with told me it has been making everything worse. I am troubled by this because this person really believes that.

imma eadm cebu, phils. - Jul 30, 2011

Thanks Fr. Joe, we can spread God Mercy to everyone... Jesus, The Divine Mercy...I Trust in You!!!

Erika - Jul 25, 2011

Protestants refer to Martin Luther, a German monk. Martin LutherĀ“s main topic was mercy (Rom 4). Jesus Christ was very serious about Holy Scripture (Matth. 5,17) but when he met people, he looked at their heart and told them to love God and to love our fellowman (Matth. 22, 37-40) What about us to do the same?

Joseph. - Jul 23, 2011

Like the Lord used Saint Faustyna to reveal His mysteries to the world (For example in diary 85 "....Beyond the throne I saw a brightness inaccessible to creatures..." is the same truth what Saint Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:16 ".....God the blessed and only Ruler.... and who lives in unapproachable light..." I thank the Lord now for using Fr. Joe to reveal eternal truths meant for mankind. Dear Brother Michael Vernon, Anglicans are not protestants, they are part of the true catholic and apostolic church. Protestants are those who protested under the leadership of Martin Luther King.

Michael Vernon - Jul 22, 2011

I am an Anglican who has been praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena for years. I appreciate Father Joe's invitation to feast at the Divine Mercy table.

Deacon Bob - Jul 19, 2011

Fr. Joe,

Thank you for your good wisdom, simply put and, with profound meaning. - Well done good and faithful servant.