Divine Mercy: Hope for the despairing.

Our Lord told St. Faustina to speak to “sinful souls drowned in despair”, encouraging them to trust in His Mercy. The following quotes/stories are especially directed at such souls:

“**Conversations with the Merciful God: Conversation with a Despairing Soul**” from St. Faustina’s Diary:

**Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.

-But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.

– In the soul arises this reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-imposed disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

Jesus: My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.

Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to Me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.

Soul (as if awaking, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there yet is mercy for me?

Jesus: There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.

Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.

Jesus: My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does – that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.

Soul: O Lord, save me yourself, for I perish. Be my Saviour. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord… Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the flames of love.

Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.

Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.

Jesus: Tell me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your Best Friend, is listening to you.

Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with Your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.

Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery-you are still too weak to speak of it-but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.**

“As long as a soul has confidence, her return is easy; but if the demon succeeds in closing the heart with distrust, O how I have to struggle to reconquer it!” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (Let God’s mercy conquer your heart! Don’t live by feelings! Trust is an act of the will!)

“**Conversations with the Merciful God: Conversation with a Sinful Soul (excerpt)**” from St. Faustina’s Diary:

**Soul: Lord, I doubt that You will pardon my numerous sins; my sisery fills me with fright.

Jesus: My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of My goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to Me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.**

From ‘St. Michael the Archangel’ booklet: “Among the writings of St. Alphonsus Liguori, we find the following account of St. Michael’s assistance at the hour of death. A certain Polish gentleman had for many years led a wicked life. When the hour of death approached, he was filled with terror and tortured by remorse of conscience over his former recklessness, so that he was reduced to a state of utter despair. No amount of exhortation or encouragement had any effect upon him; he refused every spiritual consolation. This unhappy man, however, still had some veneration for St. Michael, and God in His mercy permitted the holy Archangel to appear to him in his last struggle. St. Michael encouraged him to repentance and said that he had prayed and obtained for him sufficient time to regulate the affairs of his soul. Shortly afterwards, two Dominican priests came to the house, saying that a stranger had sent them. The sick man recognised this as the work of St. Michael. He confessed his sins amidst tears of repentance, received Holy Communion with touching devotion, and breathed forth his soul with every indication of being truly reconciled with God.”

“God showed me two kinds of illness we tend to have. One is impatience… The other is despair, which comes from the fear that originates in our lack of confidence in God. God wants us cured of both of these. He most wants us to have confidence in His happiness and in His love. Love makes us accept power and wisdom humbly because we realize God in His kindness forgets our sins when we repent and wants us to do the same ourselves, too. The Lord wants us to forget our sins. He wants us to forget every bit of our depression. God wants us to forget each doubt and every fear.” – Julian of Norwich

A criminal asked St. Joseph Cafasso, “Don Cafasso, do you think that with so many crimes on my head I can still save my soul?” Cafasso answered, “I believe it is certain, for who is it that will be able to take you out of my hands? Even if you were in the vestibule of Hell, and if there remained outside but one hair of your head, that would be sufficient for me to drag you from the claws of the devil and transport you to Heaven.”

Showing prisoners a Crucifix, St. Joseph Cafasso would say, “This is a friend who will not terrify you, who will not abandon you. Hope in Him and Heaven is yours!”

“Divine Mercy, only hope of despairing souls, I trust in You!” – St. Faustina

“Mother of Mercy, hope of the despairing, pray for us.” – From the litany to the Sorrowful Mother

A sinner complained to Padre Pio that his sins were “too great” to be forgiven. Padre Pio recalled to this individual the infinite mercy of God, reminding him with the most tender words that God not only desires to forgive us when we are living in sin, but He takes delight in our trust when we wish to be rid of our sinful habits. (This beautiful story can be found in the book, ‘Prophet of the People: A Biography of Padre Pio’ by Dorothy M. Gaudiose).