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  • David Martin | The Daily Knight

A Traditional Perspective of Divine Mercy

David Martin | The Daily Knight

While the Feast of Divine Mercy beautifully accents and radiates the glory of Easter for our edification, there are those who entertain a false mercy by believing they now have assurance of forgiveness in spite of sin, and they somehow are under the illusion that the Divine Mercy is a new feature of the Church that was foreign to the Church of the past.

For obvious reasons, this modern-day notion of mercy is in no way connected with St. Faustina to whom the Divine Mercy devotion was given, since Faustina was a disciple of holy tradition who preached and practiced the age-old rule of penance and who warned that divine justice and not mercy awaits humanity if it does not return to this rule of penance and obedience.

God’s Mercy Rests With Tradition

The truth is that God’s mercy rests with sacred tradition, not with today’s church of man. Catholics in former times were more God-fearing and grateful for the gift of God and were blessed because of it. They understood that God in His mercy had given the world His Church with all its spiritual jewels—like the ancient Latin Mass, and its dogmas, teachings, papal bulls, encyclicals and devotions—whereas after Vatican II Catholics became ungrateful for these gifts because they grew spoiled in their spiritual palate where they wanted to live worldly and sinful lives and feel forgiven at the same time.

The Sin of Presumption

What has ensued is a spirit of presumption or a fake sense of mercy where we now have misled Catholics who think the Mercy devotion is somehow connected with the fake renewal that was set in motion at Vatican II, which of course is untrue. Vatican II began the thread against mercy. The false devotees of the Divine Mercy see only ‘the cherry on top the cake,’ i.e. the promise of mercy, while ignoring everything else that appertains to Divine Mercy.

Let us be clear: God’s mercy is upon the humble and God-fearing who keep the traditions, not upon the presumptuous. “His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.” (Luke 1:50)

The true story of Divine Mercy is nicely seen the 18th chapter of St. Matthew, where Jesus says to Peter:

“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.” (Mt. 18:23-27)

Here we see that the King, representing Christ, was moved to compassion and forgave his servant because the servant wanted mercy and begged to be given a chance to please his Lord, even promising to pay the entire debt. It was the servant’s heart-felt contrition that drew the King’s mercy upon him.

We can only imagine what the servant’s fate would have been had he blindly and boastfully answered the King’s demands thus: “I know thou art all good and forgiving and will always show me mercy regardless of my debt and actions, and for this I give thee thanks and praise!” Such a blunder would have enkindled the King’s wrath and would have landed that servant in prison, yet there are many today who utter this very rubbish in their “prayers.”

Some might argue that the merciful King would have eventually forgiven his servant regardless of his conduct, but the conclusion of Matthew 18 puts this to shame.

“But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owe. And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt. Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besought me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts.” (Mt. 18: 28-35)

THE MORAL OF THE STORY is that if we do not forgive others neither will God forgive us, regardless of what we believe or profess. Our proclamations of “mercy” are vain unless we first forgive all injuries without exception. This is indispensable for all the devotees of the Divine Mercy. If we grudge against someone and fail to forgive him before we die, divine mercy will never be ours, regardless of all our Mercy Chaplets.

Now if merely failing to forgive our brother incurs divine punishment, what can we say of those who grudge against Catholicism and who refuse to “forgive the Church” because it is Catholic? Martin Luther harbored this grudge against the Church, because of which “Martin Luther is in Hell.” (St. Padre Pio) Those who imitate him are likewise banished to the eternal fires.