Streams of Mercy, Part 5: Peace

We continue our series "Streams of Mercy," reflecting on themes and lessons presented in the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. Each month, we dive into a different virtue or theme presented by our Lord in the Diary, so that we might learn from Him and prepare our hearts for His coming to us each and every day, and at the end of our lives - whether that be through a bodily death or His Second Coming. This month we reflect on peace.

"Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace" (Diary, 1074). I believe that is one of the most comforting messages from Jesus recorded by St. Faustina in her Diary.

Peace - is this not something that everyone wants? Peace of heart, peace of mind, peace in the family, peace in the world, etc? As Catholics, as Christians, we know and believe that humankind will not have peace without God. As devotees to Divine Mercy, we know and believe that it goes even further: "Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy" (Diary, 300).

So how do you turn with trust to His mercy?

I would suggest you begin with a type of psychological therapy popular today that has deep Christian roots: mindfulness. Basically, Catholic mindfulness therapy takes life at a slower pace, interiorly. You become more aware of what the movements of your heart are throughout the day. You embrace your emotions, whatever they may be. Instead of trying to distract yourself, you fill your life with what will ultimately satisfy it - namely, God. Both secular and religious psychologists alike report success. Mindfulness has helped lessen anxiety and stress in people's lives. As Catholics, we can take it one step further - when you are mindful of your heart, you can bring it to Jesus and His mercy. You can entrust your heart, your life, your loved ones, your concerns, to Jesus and His mercy. You can "snuggle close" to His Heart and truly find peace.

Saint Francis de Sales reportedly said, "Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." This is basically mindfulness therapy.

I can admit, however, that becoming more mindful throughout the day, attentive to the movements of your heart, and aware of God's presence can be difficult. So, let's turn to Jesus and St. Faustina for advice on how to quiet our minds and hearts and so find peace in Jesus.

Saint Faustina recorded Jesus' words in her Diary: "My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one" (1541). Like the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy can be prayed as a quiet meditation on the Passion. And when we take time to quiet ourselves and focus our minds and hearts on Christ, He will fill our souls with peace. If you have the opportunity, do so before the Blessed Sacrament in a chapel. If you cannot make it to a chapel, intentionally make yourself aware of God's presence within you, wherever you are.

As St. Faustina began to focus more on Christ and who she was in Him as His daughter, it brought her peace. She wrote, "From the moment when You let me fix the eyes of my soul on You, O Jesus, I have been at peace and desired nothing else, I found my destiny at the moment when my soul lost itself in You, the only object of my love. In comparison with you, everything is nothing" (Diary, 57).

If you have doubts or fears that you cannot surrender and you have difficulty trusting in God, it's OK. God directs His mercy precisely to your misery and concerns. Jesus said to St. Faustina, "Be at peace, My daughter, it is precisely through such misery that I want to show the power of My mercy" (133).

So, what is God's message to you today, and every day? Be at peace. You can place your heart, your mind, and your concerns in His hands. Snuggle close to His Heart beating with love for you. Just as a child finds rest in her mother's arms, so too our souls must rest in Him (see Ps 131:2). In Him, you will find your peace.

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