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‘Jesus, I Trust in You!’

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"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy."

Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke these words to St. Faustina about the meaning of the two rays in the image of Divine Mercy. In the diary of St. Faustina, Our Lord explains: "The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.

"These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross.

"These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy.

"Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness."

"Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you" (Jn 14:27).

Peace is the third fruit of the Holy Spirit, coming after charity and joy. It is beyond price because it only is acquired by the precious blood of Christ, which cleanses our souls defiled by sin and purifies our conscience. Martyrs gladly died for Christ so as not to lose this peace.

We obtain this peace by waging holy war against the world, the flesh and the devil. Our souls must not become discouraged during this combat, because we are ever under the protective gaze of Our Lord. His gaze in the image of Divine Mercy is his gaze from the cross. With one hand, Our Lord points to his Sacred Heart from which emanates the rays of merciful grace; with the other hand he blesses those who approach him with trust.

"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous."

A sign of the authentic Christian is his profound understanding that only by the grace of Christ can we do good: "I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5). The Christian continually rests in the cleansing waters of baptism and the subsequent graces from the sacrament of penance. Confession is the tribunal of Divine Mercy where human misery is overwhelmed by the healing grace of Jesus.

The soul, despite knowing of its weakness and inconstancy, must never fear approaching Our Lord with poverty of spirit. Heaven and earth would sooner pass away, before Our Lord would refuse to envelop such a soul with his grace.

Jesus, I Trust in You!

Herein lies the great battle of trust. The "signature" of the Divine Mercy image — Jesus, I trust in You! — is the response of the soul to God. On the one hand is the devil, who is a liar and murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44). On the other hand is the merciful love of Jesus, which includes the mediation of Our Lady and the angels and saints.

By fighting the battle of trust, the soul gives great glory to God. His faith in the goodness of God manifests in this spiritual battle on earth. On the outside there may be no apparent change —  suffering may continue. But on the inside, there is a goldmine of grace. In short, the soul is becoming thoroughly configured to Christ. What may look like misery to the human eye is transformed into a marvel of grace before the eyes of the angels and saints.

"The red ray stands for the Blood, which is the life of souls."

The soul, configured to Christ and trusting in him, lives no longer for himself but does all for the glory of God and salvation of souls. Peace of heart is perfected as it fulfills Our Lord’s commandment of love.

By feeding upon the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in holy Communion, we can love beyond our natural power. Jesus loves through us by his grace. The soul experiences the profound peace of being loved by God, and is truly "another Christ" and merits being called a "Christian."

And so mankind will have peace as such souls trust in the Divine Mercy. As St. Faustina’s diary reminds us, we need only heed Our Lord’s counsel to trust:

"The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much."

Fr. Bork is parochial vicar at Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021