• Brittany Wahhab

Divine Mercy: Jesus, I trust in You!

Surrender and trust don’t come easy to the busy human intellect, anxiously completing tasks off a checklist, taking on responsibility that it isn’t responsible for, and working endlessly to control every aspect of the human experience. Let’s face it, it’s difficult for us to accept that the difficulties we face are for our own sanctification, but we know that God places obstacles in our lives to lead us to complete surrender and trust. As Gloria Steinem said, “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off!”


Christ at Heart’s Door

In 2020, at the height of my anxious worry about trying to grow our family, my mom introduced me to Give Up Worry for Lent by Gary Zimak. Day 3 of Lent in the book refers to the living word in the Psalms:


“Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.”

(Psalm 24:7)


It was there that I learned about a painting called Christ at Heart’s Door by Warner Sallman which depicts Jesus knocking on the front door of a house. There is no doorknob on the outside; a symbol of our need to open the door for Jesus from the inside. The message of this painting is profound for many reasons, but primarily because it beautifully explains the gentle approach by which Jesus enters our lives. Jesus is not for a select few, but for everyone. He knocks on the door to our heart in an intimate way that only we can understand. It is our responsibility to meet Him and invite Him in. Once we do, our lives are forever changed. St. Maria Faustina Kowalska did just that.


Divine Mercy

Right before World War II, the young polish nun received a calling from Jesus to share the mercy God had built up inside of her soul with the world at a time when people desperately needed hope. Jesus instructed her to create a painting of the vision He was placing in her heart and mind. There was one difficult thing about this: she was not an artist and had no artistic abilities to make this happen. (Can you relate? I found myself in the beginning of this journey telling Jesus, “You’ve chosen the wrong girl! I do not know how to carry this cross for you, please take this away from me.”) Jesus told St. Faustina this: “You were counting too much on yourself and too little on me.”



On my own journey, Jesus has transformed my heart in such a personal way that I am able to read books like the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and The Interior Castle with awe and wonder instead of cynical skepticism. This was not the case 10 years ago. Back then, I would have been the first to attest against Christians who I felt were using sacred scripture and church attendance as a tool for self-righteousness and superiority over others, missing the Gospel messages of love, humility, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. But measuring how others live out the messages of the Bible is not what faith is about. Our faith is about cultivating a personal and intimate relationship with God through Christ Jesus, and developing the same loving and merciful example toward humanity He did. Jesus told St. Faustina: “Every soul believing and trusting in my mercy will obtain it.”


When I studied in a devout Catholic town in Spain, Jesus was knocking on my door. The Lord had mercy on me against a belief system that was holding me back from growing in a deeper relationship with Him. He showed me that my faith and trust in Him has nothing to do with others, but everything to do with the mercy only He can give me throughout my life. I would have missed the knocks, were I not consistently opening the door and inviting Him in through prayer. And now, I view the Divine Mercy Chaplet as another way to converse with God and find clarity.


Faith and trust

Faith and trust lead you towards a higher existence in the mind, and that level of consciousness has been blowing the minds of philosophers and scientists since Genesis. My experience in Spain was just the beginning of my understanding that the trajectory of my life was between me and God. It’s important to understand that there are thoughts that are meant to be between you and God alone until the right time. Even Jesus warned the disciples when to speak and when not to speak about his behaviors and ability to perform miracles. Mother Mary prompted Jesus at the wedding in Cana, and we can rely on our heavenly mother as an intercessor to prompt Jesus when we are in need, but otherwise it is up to us to attach our souls to Christ and embody the fruits of the Holy Spirit.


There are many tactics people use to separate man from God, sometimes unintentionally. For instance, just because someone is baptized with the Holy Spirit, does not mean Christ is within them. This act of mercy must be consistently worked on and activated from within. I once heard a priest tell a story about a man who asked Ghandi why he was not baptized, and his reply was, “you are baptized, and you are not Christian, so why should I?” The unfortunate reality is that many Christians push people away from seeking God’s love and mercy.


“You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7)


Jesus, I trust in You

Infertility can really shake our faith. We can feel like we are out in the desert for more than 40 days, without an end in sight. We have been blessed with the image of Divine Mercy to fill our minds when we feel discouraged. I have made a choice to focus my attention on Jesus’ light beaming down, encouraging me to transform into the woman he created me to be and leading me down a path that allows me to proclaim, “Jesus, I trust in You.” I choose to sit with him in adoration, participate in the blessing that is the Holy Mass, and humble myself to receive his body because I know he has guided me to do so for my own good.


When we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, we can be confident Jesus is actively and intelligently guiding the process of becoming who we are meant to be in this life, to raise up the kingdom for God. We can walk in communion with Christ every step of the way, receiving his mercy in more ways than one. He comes in gentleness, mercy and love to tell us we are who He says we are, a child of the very most high.


“Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to my mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of my mercy. Conversion, as well as my perseverance, is a grace of my mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)


For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


 

Reflection prompts

  • What does mercy mean to you?

  • How have you found compassion and forgiveness for yourself and others through Christ?

  • What has God resurrected in your life this Lenten season?


Visualize to materialize

  • Close your eyes or bring them to a soft gaze at a point in front of you.

  • Take a deep inhale, and a slow exhale.

  • Tune into your body and do a quick body scan, mentally releasing any tension you feel to ground into the present moment.

  • Now visualize the healing stream of blood and water in the Divine Mercy image of Jesus surrounding you, putting the pieces of your heart back together.

  • Think about the ways Jesus is leading your heart to complete reliance on Him, knocking on your door in ways only you would hear. Take note of the initial things that come to mind.

  • Bring these thoughts into prayer with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Be open with your heart, it is safe in His hands.

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