Now is the Time for Mercy

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He was an author, speaker, and teacher. And if that's not enough, he was also a hermit and a biochemist. Father George Kosicki, CSB, bestselling Marian Press author and longtime collaborator with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in spreading the message of Divine Mercy, died peacefully on Aug. 11, at 4:03 p.m., minutes after the Hour of Great Mercy.

The following is a Q&A with Fr. George during a visit to Eden Hill he made in 2008 — a trip made, in part, to promote his new book at the time (currently out of stock):

Father George, your book, Mercy Minutes: Daily Gems of St. Faustina to Transform Your Prayer Life (Marian Press), focuses on St. Faustina's words. Explain your new book.

This book focuses on the words of Jesus to St. Faustina, which form the very heart of her Diary. It's clear that He intends the messages He gives to St. Faustina as messages for us all — each one of us — and that He's instructing us and drawing us toward having an intimacy with Him. So the book is divided into each calendar day with a message from Jesus followed by a daily prayer I wrote. My hope is that these prayers will help people absorb the words of Jesus and encourage people to respond to Christ's call.

In the Introduction, you make the point that the revelations of the Merciful Savior to St. Faustina must always be considered in light of the Gospels and the mercy of God in Scripture as a whole. That said, why is private revelation so vital to the Church?

Twice in Ephesians it says, "We have apostles, prophets, pastors." So who are the prophets of our time? The ones who receive His voice. Saint Faustina received His voice. Margaret Mary, others, too. They were able to hear the Word of God. This is God speaking to our time. And all it does is illustrate the Scriptures. All St. Faustina was recording in her Diary is the application of the Word of God. It doesn't replace it. It fulfills it.

Why Divine Mercy? Why have you dedicated most of your life to spreading this message?

Jesus told St. Faustina to tell the whole world to turn to His mercy nownow is the time for mercy. That's as blunt as you're going to get. He tells her, "Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy" (Diary, 300). Divine Mercy is the message for the Third Millennium. Look at the collapse of the world, financially. Look at the collapse of the Church — the numbers of priests and sisters have just bottomed out. Look at how our society has turned from God. It's all an attack from the Evil One. And the answer to the ultimate evil is Divine Mercy. In the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy are the words "Have mercy on us and on the whole world." The Divine Mercy message is a call for a global consciousness. It's a prayer for the whole world. And if you don't realize the world is in bad shape, you are really in bad shape. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), explains it all well. He writes of how uneasiness — or lack of peace — in the hearts of people is the real problem in the world. The world, more than anything, needs mercy — mercy from one another and mercy from God. God redeeming us? That's mercy. Sanctifying us? That's mercy. Why did God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son to the world? Total mercy. Total gift. Total love. This message goes to the heart of the Gospel. I'm convinced of the reality that this is the message for our times, as John Paul said. The message of Divine Mercy is to prepare the world for the coming of the Lord.

What did you think when you first read Saint Faustina's Diary?

It struck me immediately how the Lord was telling us to "get with it!" To me, it was like an instruction manual for salvation. There's no trick to it. You don't need a degree in theology.

You must have read St. Faustina's Diary countless times.
Yes, I've lost track. There's always something new that I find in there — something I missed in previous readings.

You're still discovering new spiritual treasures within its pages?

Oh, am I ever! I've recently been reading it and focusing on St. Faustina's battle for souls. The Diary really goes into depth on spiritual warfare. That is really what it's all about right now. This is what we are experiencing in the world today. I'm very aware of the reality that God didn't just create the world and us. He also created angels. Some decided to obey, and others didn't. And the battle is on. The Diary really serves as a manual for us in this spiritual warfare.

And when St. Faustina writes, "Oh, if only a suffering soul knew how it is loved by God, it would die of joy and excess of happiness! Someday, we will know the value of suffering, but then we will no longer be able to suffer. The present moment is ours" (963). Really, more and more I'm discovering the value, the purpose, and the absolute necessity of suffering, because that's the way Jesus brought us salvation and mercy. So don't waste your suffering. Give it to Jesus so He can transform it by His love into salvation of souls.

How did you first learn about Divine Mercy?

Through my mother, in the early 1940s. Probably '42, '43. The same time Fr. Seraphim [Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, one of the world's most renowned experts on Divine Mercy] learned about it. The same time the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, learned about it. The Marians, who had already begun to spread the message in 1941, moved one of their houses to Detroit, where I was born and my mother lived. My mother did the Divine Mercy devotions. She prayed the Chaplet. I didn't fully understand it all at the time. But in 1972 or '73, I met Fr. Seraphim in Detroit. I was leading a prayer meeting that spawned from the charismatic renewal movement. We asked him to join our team of priests. He was with us for two years. When the ban on Divine Mercy was lifted in 1978, Fr. Seraphim gave a grand lecture on Divine Mercy. It was really inspiring. From then on, I moved more and more toward making the spread of Divine Mercy my life's work. The big leap came for me when I was living outside of Steubenville, Ohio, at a hermitage. There was a Polish hermit there, Fr. Charles Kubsz. He's the first priest I met who could really tell you what you needed and where you were at in your life without even asking you. He said: "Get into Divine Mercy full time." He kept insisting to me: "God is calling you to be an apostle of Divine Mercy."

You then came to Eden Hill, in Stockbridge, Mass., where the Marians administer the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. You were the right man at the right time.

Well, I like to get things done yesterday. And we had plenty to do. This was in the 1980s. It was an exciting time. I helped to oversee the production of the film, "Divine Mercy — No Escape" and the publication of the English edition of St. Faustina's Diary and The Life of Faustina Kowalska, by Sr. Sophia Michalenko, CMGT. I was just one of the workhorses helping to organize everything.

Now you're a hermit living deep in the Michigan woods. How does living as a hermit help you stay focused on God?

The solitude enables silence, which enables the Word of the Lord to be heard in my heart. I live each day offering, entrusting, trusting, rejoicing, smiling at the Lord, singing of His mercies, giving thanks. And in my hermitage, I've posted 3x5 cards all over the place with a very simple, but powerful, reminder to myself: "Trust in Jesus even more."

You have a doctorate in biochemistry. Do you have any equations to share?

Suffering + Love = Joy. Everyone is suffering. Everyone wants joy. But what we are missing is love. Love is the continual spiritual communion with God.

We invite you to watch a talk by Fr. Kosicki dating back to 1992: + + +

+ + + And here's a video featuring a conversation between Fathers Kosicki and Seraphim Michalenko, MIC: + + +

Books by Fr. George include:
• Faustina, Saint for Our Times: A Personal Look at Her Life, Spirituality, and Legacy
• Now is the Time for Mercy
John Paul II: The Great Mercy Pope Beatification Edition
Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus: Praying Daily on Jesus' Words from the Diary of St. Faustina.

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

Patrick Harris, P.E. - Sep 11, 2014

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Rey Vinole - Sep 5, 2014

Thank you Jesus for bringing this Holy Priest into our lives... Rest in Peace Father with all the Saints and Angels in Heaven... Jesus we Trust in You...

john canavan - Sep 3, 2014

Fr George, you were an inspiration to me over the last 22years, promoting divine mercy in Australia. you gave me my first opportunity to give my personal witness on the divine mercy in 1992 in Stubenville and along with Fr seraphim encouraged me so much to take this message back home to Australia and spread this message. your books led so many people and the divine mercy. your inspiration to do so much came from many hours each day before the blessed sacrament.
Only now will you know just what an amazing effect you had on helping priests come to know this message, by your great book TELL MY PRIESTS. thankyou Fr Kosicki for all you did and may you receive the eternal reward you so much deserve. I will be dedicating next years divine mercy calendar to your memory say hi to Sr Faustina for me, God Bless John Canavan, Divine Mercy Publications Australia.

Deb - Sep 3, 2014

My first encounter with Fr. Kosicki's writing was reading his book on spiritual warfare, Attack Against The Woman. I have been a fan of his since. Rest in peace Fr. Kosicki.

Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz - Sep 3, 2014

Pray for him? I'm already asking his intercession. I knew him briefly in Steubenville and know he was a saint then and he's a saint now.

Sister Georgene Golock, FDC - Sep 3, 2014

Rest in Peace, Fr. George. I had the pleasure of meeting Father years ago when I visited Eden Hill with my Mother, we had made it as part of our vacation time. He was wonderful. I had started the 1st children's group of Apostles of Mercy in Key West, Fl. I was asked by the pastor of the school to do so...he said it was God inspired.
So, Father George gave me many ideas for the children (30) who came to our
Adoration Chapel right after school to pray the Chaplet daily. Thank you, Father for your witness and inspiration as His Apostle of Mercy.

Mehari Africa - Sep 3, 2014

Rest in Peace Fr. George, in the hands of Our Dear Mother, Mary. You used to say Mary means, Mother Always Responding Yes! You have inspired millions, Our Lord, His Mother & all the saints love such devoted & inspiring souls of yours. Rest in Peace Fr. George, in the heart of Jesus, whom you served and trusted wholeheartedly & intercede for us sinners.

Esther Ruth - Sep 3, 2014

May his soul rest with the Heart of the Divine Mercy and St. Faustina. Please pray for us, Dear Father, for the return of all fallen away souls of the Church. Please pray for peace in our hearts, homes and the world.

Jerome Kiley - Sep 2, 2014

I never met or knew Fr George personally, but a number of times his writing resonated with me and I felt a spiritual kinship with him through that, hoping to some day meet. Now, that will be in eternity. May he rest in peace.

Rob and Deb - Sep 2, 2014

Remember the wonderful and inspiring talk Fr Kosicki gave at the 1994 Apostolate for Family Consecration conference in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He brought the message of divine Mercy to us and this message has resonated for many years. Fr helped us live Divine mercy also through song.
We pray for Fr as a saint in light.

Fr George Kosicki - Aug 26, 2014

You have guided many souls to our *Lord Jesus Christ*

Cecilia R. - Aug 25, 2014

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Fr. George Oh Lord, and May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him. May He Rest in Peace. Amen.

May God give strength, hope, and peace to his family and friends.

Lillian Hayden Oliver - Aug 21, 2014

Rest in Peace Dear Father Kosicki.
Pray that our prayer book with the Divine Mercy in it will spread through the world.
Thank for your teaching and example of Divine Mercy Devotion.

Bob Allard, www. - Aug 16, 2014

Fr. George Kosicki, CSB was a wonderful inspiration for me and my ministry. I can still hear his words "Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ" every time he would call me. He often sent me his new books on Saint Pope John Paul and we worked together to promote the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. I can still sense his guidance from his place in Heaven. Fr. George thank you for all your love!

Lisa Alekna - Aug 15, 2014

So sorry to hear of your loss. May perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace. God bless.

Lois - Aug 15, 2014

I wish I had met Fr. Kosicki. He truly has captured the essence of what is going on in our modern day world. Certainly, I will pray for him. May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, rest in peace through the Mercy of Christ.

Bryan Thatcher MD, EADM - Aug 14, 2014

Father was such a kind man and went out of his way on several occasions to encourage me to keep doing what I was doing. He was such a blessing to me in my spiritual walk. Father George, rest in His Merciful Heart and pray for me!

Cathy Mack - Aug 14, 2014

I am so disheartened with the news of Fr George Kosicki entering eternal life. I
His books are so inspiring. I am a cenacle leader for Eucharisit apostles of Divine Mercy. May he rest in peace

Robert Stackpole - Aug 14, 2014

I used to joke with Fr. George that he was the one I always blamed for roping me in to this Divine Mercy stuff--but in all seriousness, he was my inspiration from the beginning, and one of the finest priests I have ever had the privilege to know. He introduced me to St. Faustina's spirituality of the Merciful Heart of Jesus, reflected above all in fr. George's own merciful heart. Pray for us, Fr. George: we will miss you, but I know you will be closer to us now than you ever could be before!

Barb - Aug 14, 2014

I had the privilege to know this wonderful man of God and learn from him many things while he lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Hew was truly a man who trusted in Jesus and was forever reminding us to "trust in Jesus even more"

Susan - Aug 14, 2014

RIP FR GEORGE,God bless you for the good work you have done for him down hear on earth.may the Divine Mercy you have preached every now and then be upon you soul

John DiCino, OCDS (John de Misericordia Divina) - Aug 13, 2014

This humble servant of the Lord of Mercy has touched me and many others with his works and witness, praise be to Jesus.
He was a great disciple of our fabulous devotion for end times!
May the Jesus of Divine Mercy bless us, and may the soul of Fr. Kosicki rest in the peace of the Lord.

Deacon Keith Fournier - Aug 13, 2014

It has been many years since Fr. George and I were together in person - the early days of the Steubenville miracle. But I have followed, with deep appreciation, the life and work of this Holy Priest. He will continue his work from the Heart of Divine Mercy, in the communion of Love. He smiled with his mouth, his eyes and his heart and communicated the very presence of the Lord in his demeanor. He was - He Is - a treasure for the Church and her continuing mission in a time which is so desperately in need of Mercy. Rest in Peace Dear Priest of Jesus Christ and thank you. Please, keep praying for us all.

Deacon Keith Fournier

Sr Mary Joe - Aug 13, 2014

Thank you for inspiring me Father. I too wish to spread the message of Divine Mercy as I truly feel Jesus wants this of me.
Pray for me and bless me from Heaven.

Mary - Aug 12, 2014

We the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls in Davao ,Phil.will include you Fr. George Kosicki in our prayer. Rest in Peace.

Jane M - Aug 12, 2014

Rest in peace dear servant of Divine Mercy.

Charles & Patricia Piscopo - Aug 12, 2014

RIP Father. My God Bless you for all your wonderful work in his name.....