“Eternal Father, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in dificult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is love and mercy itself.”
– Concluding prayer
Chaplet of Divine Mercy
God, the Eternal Father is not simply ‘merciful’ and He is not just ‘loving’. Rather, He is these attributes in their fullness and their entirety – in other words, He is Mercy, and He is Love itself. That’s quite something to think about, isn’t it? Our God is mercy, our God is love. He personifies these qualities.
Saint Thomas Aquinas spoke of this concept – that if beauty (or love, or mercy, or anything else good) exists to some degree in us or in the world around us, then God must, of necessity, be the very fullness of these qualities. And so, He truly is Beauty, or Love, or Mercy. We reflect something of this, whilst He is the fullness.
We consider this when we pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In the concluding prayer, we remiond the Father (as though He needs to be reminded) that His ‘mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible’.
Now, if this is what we pray, is it also what we truly believe? Does our trust in Him reflect in some way the immensity of His love for us? Surely this is precisely the point of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and indeed, of the whole message of Mercy? By means of it, we recognise the infinity that is His divine love for us.
That message of Mercy is addressed to every single one of us, to remind us that no matter the depth of our sinfulness, God loves us with an infinite love – as Saint Paul reminds us, ‘Christ died for us while we were still sinners’ (cf. Romans 5:8) – He did not wait until we were perfect. He loves us as we are. Yes, He wants us to ‘be perfect as your Father is perfect’ (cf. Matthew 5:48) – but this will likely be a lifetime’s work for most of us.
This concluding prayer suggests the secret to reconciling our sinfulness and God’s holiness – the Lord will be kind in looking upon us, and (assuming we acknowledge our sinfulness and our need of His mercy), He will increase His mercy in us so that we can submit our will to His, with great confidence.
Perhaps the next time we pray, we might take a moment to think about all of this and to give thanks to such a good and merciful God, Who wants to fill us to overflowing with the same love which pours out of the pierced Heart of His Son.