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Streams of Mercy — Part 1: The Gaze of Mercy

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By Melanie Williams (May 4, 2018)
The following is the commencement of a new series "Streams of Mercy" on themes and lessons presented in the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. Each month, we will be diving into a different virtue or theme presented by our Lord in the Diary, so that we might learn from Him and prepare our hearts for His coming to us each and every day, as well as at the end of our lives — whether that be through a bodily death or His Second Coming. This month we reflect on the "Gaze of Mercy."

Eyes — windows to the soul. There is a reason why people say it is important to make eye contact to make a good first impression, or that someone who doesn't make eye contact may be hiding something or isn't trustworthy. A gaze into another's eyes is something very personal and requires a great degree of vulnerability.

Some talk of "love at first sight." One look into the eyes of a beloved can enrapture you, give you a sense of being home, belonging, being complete. When your beloved looks into your eyes, it can reveal so much about you to yourself. The depths of your heart are being called to the surface — things good and bad. As human beings, we want to know and be known, and this is found powerfully in the eyes of the beloved.

While the Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy is the original Image of Divine Mercy which St. Faustina saw herself, there is something about the Hyla Image of Divine Mercy, seen here, that people love — many would say it's because you can see Jesus' eyes looking right at you.

Our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, gazes upon you with love. He is the "face of the Father's Mercy," as Pope Francis said in his bull of indiction for the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The gaze of Jesus is a gaze of mercy. Yes, He is perfectly just as well as perfectly merciful, but thanks be to God, we are living in a time of mercy, but this time will not last forever. The Father is calling out to you in mercy to make yourselves ready for the Second Coming of His Son, which He specifically told St. Faustina was the mission of Divine Mercy (see Diary, 429, 635, 1732).

Friends of Mercy, I invite you to not be afraid to gaze into the eyes of Jesus and learn from Him. Within Him lies all virtue, and He is our Teacher.

Saint Faustina wrote, "The Lord's gaze pierces the soul," and reveals all our sins, so to love us in our misery (Diary, 324). That is His mercy. In prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to be with you. The gaze of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit may bring up things in your heart which are in need of healing or forgiveness. Be not afraid. As Jesus told St. Faustina, "The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy" (Diary, 723). His gaze from this Image is His gaze from the Cross (see Diary, 326), and He looks upon you with great love.

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