At age twenty, Polish born Helena Kowalska (1905- 1938) entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, became Sr. Maria Faustina, and devoted her life to the message of God’s mercy. She recorded her spiritual experiences with Christ in her diary, later published as Divine Mercy in My Soul. Canonized in 2000, her feast day is celebrated on October 5. In this excerpt, she describes the merciful message of Christ.
Know that my heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. I desire that your heart be an abiding place of my mercy. I desire that this mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in my mercy which I so ardently desire for souls. In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching humankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart. I demand deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first—by deed, the second—by word, the third—by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to my mercy. Speak to the world about my mercy; let all humankind recognize my unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end of times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of my mercy; let them profit from the blood and water which gushed forth for them. Before I come as a just judge, I first open wide the doors of my mercy. One who refuses to pass through the doors of my mercy must pass through the doors of my justice. Humankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my mercy.
I want to be completely transformed into your mercy and to be your living reflection, O Lord. Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be mer- ciful, so I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so I may heed my neigh- bors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains. Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so I may do only good to my neighbors by doing the difficult tasks. Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so I may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. O Jesus, transform me into yourself, for you can do all things. Amen. ]