Ever feel like you’re a good enough spouse, a good enough parent, or have good enough faith? Ever stop trying to do better because you’re good enough as you are? There’s an obvious wake up call as we read Jesus’ the words to Saint Faustina for the 9th, and most difficult, day of the Divine Mercy Novena:
“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.”
The powerful words beg reflection on times we’ve been indifferent or lukewarm in our relationships and in our faith, all the ways we’ve cheated loved ones and the Trinity when we should have honored them. Baring our souls and knowing the pain our indifference caused Jesus in His most difficult hour should make us it made me want to run and hide as Eve did when she found herself naked in the Garden of Eden; however, because of Jesus’ Divine Mercy, we have no need to run and hide.
Our Lord’s words, despite the suffering He endured on our behalf, end with three beautiful phrases, “hope,” “salvation,” and “My mercy.” Despite all our faults, Jesus offers us forgiveness and Love because He has the gift of Divine Mercy beyond our imagining. Now, knowing how our indifference affects Him, it is up to us to shrug off the lukewarm blanket of indifference and embrace a mantle of burning passion, of faith beyond what one finds in the average person. Average is blah. It is up to us to stand out like a lily among the skunk cabbage, even like a rose among carnations.
Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
For too long we’ve done the best we could, not because we didn’t know better, but because we didn’t even know we should be trying for better. We accepted good enough in ourselves and in others. We didn’t even know better was out there! How do you know to look for something when you don’t know it exists? How do you know you’re being lukewarm when you’re surrounded by indifference?
We accepted our faults and Jesus’ Love without asking how we could give more in return, and that acceptance invaded our personal lives on too many levels. We accepted our faults and our good enough attitude without doing enough to change them until our faults became the norm and weren’t seen as faults anymore. Instead, those living in faith were seen as faulty.
Better is there. Jesus is there. He knows better. He loves you so much, He left His perfect existence to live among men on this beautiful yet dirty, wonderful yet corrupt, sentimental yet harshly unforgiving planet so that YOU could be forgiven. He suffered for you so that YOU could live in greatness, not so that you could live a lukewarm existence, not so that you could be indifferent to criticism of your beliefs, not so that you could go along with what everyone is doing because everyone is doing it.
Jesus did not come to criticize and to cast us into the fires of hell for our faults. No sin is too great for His Mercy. No sinner to repulsive to be welcomed into His embrace. If you are lonely or saddened, rejected or hurting, you are not alone. Reach out to Jesus and He will be with you always. His Mercy and Love never fail.
Sometimes good enough is truly the best we can do, and Jesus loves us for that. Beating ourselves up for true limitations does no one any good, but often we can do better. We can do better in our relationships. We can do better in our faith. Jesus brought us a spirit of Forgiveness and Love. The Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of Courage and Strength. You are Loved perfectly where you are for who you are and are always welcomed Home to the Loving Embrace of Your Savior Jesus Christ where past transgressions and good enough are left behind, but you must first take that stand against indifference, agains t your lukewarm existence, against simply accepting good enough.
Jesus calls us to practice His Divine Mercy and as we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, what better time to begin! To embrace and begin your own red hot attempt at Divine Mercy, the following suggestions have been made by DivineMercy.org
A – Ask for His Mercy.
B – Be merciful.
C – Completely trust in Jesus.
Remember, YOU were made in the image and likeness of God. Use the gifts He gave you to break free from the dreariness of your lukewarm existence. Embrace wholeheartedly His Divine Mercy. Take a risk. Be bold. Live bravely. Love much and when it is undeserved. Run, don’t walk, to the heart of Jesus and reflect a the Divine Mercy you will be offered. You were made for greatness! Embrace all that Jesus has to offer and live it with passion!
Join us in prayer at 3:00 pm (in your time zone) for a devotion to the Divine Mercy of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Read more on the Divine Mercy of Jesus:
- What Makes You Powerful – Catholic Stand article on the Power of Divine Mercy