Hi Friends! Since it's always a good day to give glory to God's Mercy, I thought I'd share with you the story of how I was introduced to the Divine Mercy devotion, or rather, how God introduced it to me. :)
Summer Time Blues
It was the summer before my Senior year of college. I remember being a bit bored one day and just turning on the tv. There was a Spanish language Catholic station on, ESNE, El Sembrador Nueva Evangelización (The Sower New Evangelization). They happened to be broadcasting none other than World Youth Day Poland. I remember seeing this MASSIVE gathering of young people in a field, excitedly waving the flags of their respective countries. There was a main stage where the altar was located, and I saw photos/paintings of a few familiar faces: John Paul II, Jesus, and a nun wearing a black habit... who was she?
Some sort of play was being performed. A handful of young people were on stage, one guy listening to music on his headphones, another girl talking with her friends, someone probably on their phone. Each person was literally boxed in by clear panels, completely in their own world. Then there was that young nun again, she suddenly made her entrance on stage, bolting from person to person. One by one she went knocking on the clear panels, waiting for someone to come out of their "glass box" and listen to her message. Of course no one payed any attention to her, until finally, one young person looked up from what he was doing, came out of his "glass box" and joined her.
I thought it was a nice play and all of the people there seemed to be having fun. I just found myself wishing I was with them. At that moment I said a bit of a complain-y prayer to God and it went something like this, “Oh God, why didn’t you take me to World Youth Day? I totally would have gone if I had known of any groups going.” I sat there for a bit in my dissatisfaction, turned off the tv and went back to my day. On my way back to my laptop, I passed by the coffee table in the living room. On it was a very curious looking book. It’s title? The Diary of St. Faustina .....Heeey, wait a minute. Wasn’t that the nun I’d just heard about? I figured God was trying to tell me something and that it was a good time to start reading this book!
The Dusty Book
You see, the Diary of St. Faustina had actually been sitting in my house for years as a nice little decoration. My aunt let me borrow a copy that she had but I never read it because I felt it was too thick, too complicated and too old. So it moved around from place to place in my house until that day it happened to be in plain view on the coffee table. Little did I know how much God would change my life with that book and the message of Divine Mercy. After that day I began reading the Diary of St. Faustina and I just couldn’t put it down!
The next year God began making His presence known in my life in all kinds of ways. It's almost as if He wanted...a relationship with me! (Yes, of course He did!) Although Jesus speaks to St. Faustina in the Diary, I felt as if He was speaking to me personally, asking me to pray for souls. The promises Jesus made in the Diary were so huge, I just couldn't resist taking advantage of them! If Jesus truly promised that He will grant us whatever we ask at the 3 o'clock hour (as long as it's in accordance with His will), then shouldn't we all start praying?! This is what moved me to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily and implore God's mercy for the whole world. It's been a few years and the Chaplet has continued to be a part of my daily prayers.
You'd probably also be happy to know that, by the grace of God, I did in fact make it to World Youth Day! (Yay!) God never fails, it's all in His perfect timing! World Youth Day 2019 Panama was my first WYD experience. It was amazing, life changing and I highly recommend Catholic young people make the trip at least once if they're able. I'd love to share photos and stories from the trip, but that's other blog post for another time.
Until then, stay holy my friends! :D
Also, here is my current copy of the Diary of St. Faustina. It's not the original one that I read, but it is a well loved copy.