The Novena Before the Feast of Divine Mercy began on Good Friday, and as I picked up the pamphlet following Tenebrae Service and began to read, I was struck by Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina concerning those lukewarm and indifferent in their faith,
“These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.
What a powerful statement! Just look at what Jesus says.
Those soul cause Jesus, “MORE SUFFERING THAN ANY OTHERS.”
On Day 1, Good Friday, we pray for “All mankind, especially sinners.” On Day 3 we pray for, “Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him,” and on Day 5 we pray for those who have left the church.
Those of us who have had a loved one deny our relationship or who have watched a loved one walk away despite our best efforts to Love can only begin to imagine how hard it must be for the Father to watch His children leave the church; yet, it is not those who have turned their backs denying their inheritance who have caused more suffering than any others, but those who say they believe while living their faith halfheartedly, those giving lip-service to the vows of faith while cheating the Lord when they think He’s not looking or when a “better offer” pops up that caused Jesus the most suffering.
It was from such souls that the Lord’s soul, “FELT THE MOST REVULSION”
Revulsion is not a word used lightly. When thinking of those who cause revulsion, our minds are limited to a very few. We know evil exists. We’ve seen it appear throughout history time and again in varying degrees. The loving heart is revolted by actions of those causing the Holocost, by those involved in ISIS, slavery, and other atrocities prevalent even today. We are filled with anger and despair when evils hit close to home in the form of theft, violence, addiction, abuse, and the breakdown of the family, and yet it is not evil souls that cause Jesus revulsion.
Jesus’ revulsion is for the lukewarm and indifferent.
It was on their account that Jesus cried out, “MY FATHER, IF IT IS POSSIBLE, LET THIS CUP PASS ME BY.”
It has been said, “The opposite of Love is not hate, but indifference.” Is this indifference what the Lord saw in the crowd as He stumbled under the weight of the Cross? Is this indifference what He saw in too many souls as the jeering soldiers pressed the crown of thorns piercing His flesh? Is this indifference what He felt as the sting of the whip broke His skin again and again? Is lukewarm faith what He saw as He looked over the people from up there on the Cross during the hours He lived while praying to die? Was it His fear of the pain ahead or was it our indifference that made Him want to avoid the Cross as He cried out in that Garden?
Did He see my indifference? Did He see your indifference? Did He see the indifference of the spouse, the child, the parent, the neighbor? Is it from me that He felt revulsion? Is it because of you that He begged to let the cup pass?
I look back at the times I’ve acted with indifference, times I have used my faith to my advantage, times I’ve denied my faith because it was inconvenient or cumbersome or unpopular or because the teachings didn’t make sense in the short term and I lacked the ability to see the long term. I think through the times even now, when faith is tough and I still slip and fall,
times I should have bitten my tongue but spoke harshly,
times I should have spoken out but turned my back,
times I let me lead my faith when I should have let my faith lead me.
And I wonder if, in those moments, I am revolting to Christ?
Tonight, please join me and others committed to living faith with intention in praying on this last day of the Novena for the conversion of indifferent and lukewarm souls. Then join us tomorrow to reaffirm our commitment to our faith and discover that, despite our faults, each of us has worth beyond measure, that each of us, even after acting in the most repulsive way possible, is still perfectly Loved!
Intro to Day 9 of the Novena Before the Feast of the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ.
“Today bring to Me The Souls Who Have Become Lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”
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