Sunday, April 15, 2007

Doubting Thomas vs. Divine Mercy: St. Faustina's Cure for the Unsure

"Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Jesus, to Thomas; John 21:27

"Jesus, friend of a lonely heart ... you are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubt."
St. Faustina, from the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Ever since I was a young boy, I awaited the reading of the Gospel on the Sunday after Easter, for I really related to my namesake in his struggle to believe. If you could PROVE something to me, I would defend that dogma to the death but until then, no chance! In fact, I "left" the faith briefly in my teenage days when neither my believing-without-seeing parents nor my feel-good post-Vatican II "Catholic" teachers could fully explain the faith to my satisfaction. But at Notre Dame, where God had orthodox professors, on-fire classmates and, most of all, Our Lady, conspire to SHOW me the truth without a doubt, I began to take Thomas' new road, and finally came to know the Lord decisively in the (daily) Breaking of the Bread.

And yet, though faith remained, doubts lingered. Even basking in this year's Easter glory, my usual suspects (my spouse's illness, our lack of money, the rejections of my writing) all left me to wonder if I'm still following my Lord faithfully. And even my devout daughter Therese was giving me a hard time about going back to church a SECOND time Sunday afternoon. And then came the Divine Mercy service ...

Waiting in a (long) confession line, my worries continued. The line was too long! I would miss the Divine Mercy prayers—and the accompanying promises of peace! I had just been to confession two weeks ago—could I count that? No, Faustina said ... Yikes! My cellphone! I forgot to turn it off!!

And yet it not only all worked out, it all WORKED. While I always feel good after confession, today I felt like a new man. And, although the Chaplet (which today included the kissing of St. Faustina's relic) is always a peaceful prayer, I now felt like I was with John in today's second reading from Revelation. True, the Mass is the perfect prayer and cannot be improved upon. But somehow, this gift of Divine Mercy helped the doubter see "The Way" even clearer than before. And on the way home Therese no longer had those teenage eyes. She had caught the peace too!

Thank you, Lord, for Faustina's saintly vision, John Paul II's gift of this feast (it's a perfect FIT on Doubting Thomas Sunday!) and, of course, the Spirit's merciful peace. It was so wonderful, that for next year I'm already asking ...

My Lord and my God—Divine Mercy for everyone!

1 comment :

Pristinus Sapienter said...

How very difficult it is for all of us to say "My Jesus, I trust in You." And, to do so with no real work-in-hand proof.

I can only overcome this frustrating piece of pride - for to have to know before believing is as prideful as saying 'Maybe I'M God!' - by concentrating that not only does my Father in heaven, His Son Whose Presence is as close as the tabernacle (which, young lady, is exactly enough to go to Mass twice in a day!) and our great Holy Spirit Who hangs around like dirt on a five-year-old boy all believe in me just because They love me. And, that belief in me is Their gift without thought of what They know about me.

God is C-O-O-L!