“I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My Mercy.”
– the Merciful Lord to St Faustina
One of the themes which recurs continuously in the Diary of Saint Faustina is that of trust. A very quick review of the Concordance to St Faustina’s Diary reveals almost two and a half pages of sub-themes under the heading of ‘trust’. Indeed, the words ‘Jesus, I trust in You’ appear on the Image of the Merciful Jesus. Clearly, then, this trust is deeply significant in the devotion.
‘Divine Mercy’, in the way it is described in the Diary, is aimed very squarely at sinners. This refutes the point some would make, that Divine Mercy is ‘too much’, that it allows anything; it does nothing of the sort. The prerequisite of asking for – and being granted – mercy, is the acknowledgement of one’s sinfulness and misery; without this acknowledgement, the soul cannot perceive it’s need of mercy and so cannot embrace it. An awareness of our sinfulness is the starting point; Divine Mercy begins with sinners. All of us are sinners. And all of us have need of Divine Mercy.
Writing in her Diary the words of the Merciful Lord addressed very specifically to sinners, in a section entitled ‘Conversation of the Merciful God with a Sinful Soul’, St Faustina records this –
“Be not afraid of your Saviour, o sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself, you are unable to lift yourself to Me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of Mercy, who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish His graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.” (Diary, para.1485)
We may read this words and think “but my sins are too great! I am too sinful to expect God’s mercy!”. For such souls, elsewhere in the Diary, these words of the Merciful Lord are written down by St Faustina –
“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy.. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls, I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy.” (Diary, para.1146)
And in case there is any lingering doubt on this point, the Lord goes on –
“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.” (Diary, para.1485)
And in these words, the Lord reveals the secret at the core of this devotion – we need to approach the Merciful Lord “with trust”. Trust is the ‘key’ which unlocks the vaults of Divine Mercy. And the greater our trust, the greater the graces the Lord grants.
“The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is – 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.” (Diary, para.1578)
It is easy, of course, to speak about trust. It can be harder to actually trust; St Faustina knew that – but she also knew the immensity of graces granted to her when her trust was boundless. St Faustina wrote her own thoughts on those souls who fail to trust and no doubt she included herself, for those times when her trust was less than perfect –
“..Mistrust displeases Jesus.. God is very displeased with lack of trust in Him, and this is why some souls lose many graces. Distrust hurts His most sweet Heart, which is full of goodness and incomprehensible love for us..” (Diary, para.595)
Throughout the Diary, the need for trust is repeated almost constantly; and that same trust is named explicitly as the vessel which draws down the graces of Divine Mercy. Over and over again, we are asked to trust in the Lord, Who loves us enough to die for us upon the Cross. There is no greater proof of His love and there can be no-one more deserving of our trust. In the end, that trust is a choice of the will – either we do trust or we do not. These are the only two options. But in trusting, He reveals the treasures of His grace to us, and this encourages greater trust in Him.
May the grace of the Lord enable us to trust in Him, that one day our trust might be perfect.