Prayer & Spiritual Life

The Kiss of Mercy

by Steve Ray on August 28, 2019

My daughter-in-law Anna is very insightful about spiritual things, and in raising our grandkids. Couldn’t ask for a better daughter (in-law, though we consider her our daughter by now :-) She put this up on her FaceBook page a while ago and I was compelled to share it again. Janet and I read this with tears in our eyes WHILE WE WERE IN THE CONFESSIONAL LINE this Saturday. Wow!

The Kiss of Mercy

“Kiss me!” – My young son looked up at me with this imploring demand. I look down upon my passionate, impulsive son observing his pain and anguish. His face is contorted and pleading. The pain he is experiencing is emotional, his center of well being is off.

The Father RUNS to his sinful prodigal son

He feels my displeasure at his most recent misbehavior and he desperately longs to restore the relationship. Without hesitation, I reach down, pull his small, tense body into mine and kiss his upturned lips. Instantly, as if a switch has been flipped, his body relaxes and all is restored.

Oh, how our Lord wishes we would behave as this young child! Multiple times a day, my son will behave in a less than virtuous manner. And yet, he does not despair, does not hide his pain and wrongdoing.

He comes running with all of his misery into my merciful arms. At the young age of 3, he has grasped what many of us have not. His sin is not a condemnation, it is an opportunity to receive mercy and healing. It is an opportunity to restore and strengthen the one relationship to him that is his whole world.

How can this be? Because our Lord said it was so. Hear his words, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” See and feel his actions. Focus your heart on his passion.

Call to mind the scourging. The whip is in your hand. Your pride, anger, envy, greed, sloth, gluttony, and lust rush upon His body with a fury. He already sees it and knows it, admit to it yourself and become aware of the reality of your sin and misery. 

But don’t let it end there! Once all the dark passion within you is spent, fall to your knees. Look divine love in the face. Fix your gaze on him and let his gaze penetrate yourself. And then say to him, “It was not in vain. Kiss me!”

Allow divine love to hold you, as the sweet pain of that kiss courses through your body. Hold fast in trust, as it probes and burns away the dark places and secret misery within you. Experience the gift of merciful love as he transforms you each moment that you come to him demanding and trusting in that mercy again and again and again.

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Since today we are praying the Divine Mercy at the bones of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska at the convent in Poland, I thought I would share this short biography and history.

Click here for the whole story with pictures….

The Biography of St. Maria Faustina. (August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)?

An excerpt from Apostle of Divine Mercy, a biography published by the Vatican.

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, an apostle of Divine Mercy, one of the most popular and well-known saints of the Church. Through her, the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the great message of God’s mercy and reveals the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward one’s neighbors.

Sister Faustina was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of 10 children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish church of Swinice Warckie. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor.

At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. Helen made her first Holy Communion at the age of nine, which was very profound moment in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended school for three years. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent, but her parents would not give her permission. Being of age at 16, Helen left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrów, Lodi, and Ostrówek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

Helen joins Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy: Helen never lost her desire for a religious vocation. After being called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on August 1, 1925, and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years in several religious houses. She spent time at Krakow, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener, and porter.

Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene, and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.

Click here for the whole story with pictures….

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A while ago I gave a talk in Ann Arbor Michigan. It was about the New Evangelization. As part of my talk I explained how Janet and I have our “evangelism antennas” up first thing in the morning – alertly watching for open doors and ways to share our Catholic Faith throughout the day. And the Christmas season is such a great time to do it!!

I explained that God sets up “divine appointments” for all of us and then holds his breath to see if we will do his bidding. If we don’t, it disappoints God, someone fails to hear the good news, and our days are more boring. Sharing the gospel is a great joy of life once we get over that hurdle of fear and self-consciousness.

After my talk I received this e-mail from Marnie. It was too good not to share. Learn from this! Take her ideas and use them yourself throughout the day. Enjoy!

Dear Steve,

Sue passed along your email.  I was telling her about the day after your Evangelization talk at Christ the King that I prayed in the morning about my antennae being up and had three occasions to share my faith on Wednesday.

Here is how it went.  I am M and the other person is J for Jennifer.  Jennifer works in the laundry room at Schoolcraft College where David and I go to work out.

M- (walking past big window of laundry/custodial room)  Oh, I love your purple decorations.  Purple is the color of Advent.  Are you Catholic?

J-  smiling says, yes, and added that purple is for royalty

M – Jesus is royalty!   I’m a convert to the Catholic Church because Jesus did not want disunity; He did not create divisions or denominations.  Merry Christmas!

J – Thank you for sharing that.

(The man in line, waiting to be handed a towel by Jennifer looked bewildered!)


After working out, the young girl at the gym desk told me that I knew her boyfriend from my teaching days.  I said I remembered what a good student her boyfriend was and how he had a nice, church going family.  I told her I knew all about Ward Presbyterian and Oakpoint where the boyfriend now attends.

 I told her how David and I were Kids Kamp directors at Ward for 14 years (she was a camper), but now we are Catholic and love the faith.  Went on to explain how Ward friends don’t understand why we are converts but that we still love Jesus, perhaps more.  Then we talked about whether or not she had a favorite Bible verse, which she didn’t.  I challenged her to find one and report back to me!

Later in day was checking out at Lord and Taylor, purchasing a gift.  I told the clerk that her accent reminded me of my friend, Ula, who is from Poland.  When she declared that she is Polish, I told her about Ula from Krakow, Poland who had met John Paul II. 

She smiled and I told her how much I loved the Catholic Church and that I was a convert.  I asked her if she had been to the gift shop at The Shrine of the Little Flower that sells hand painted Polish ornaments?  That led to talking about the Eucharist and praying the Rosary.  Meanwhile another customer was waiting and I felt like I should not hurry :-)  

 So….thanks for all the encouragement at the Tuesday talk!  Your talk was excellent, exciting and made me think.  I was taking notes as that is my ADD way of listening better!  In about 2001 or was it 2002, your Defending the Faith talk (@Steubenville) about the Pope, had a huge impact on me.  That is the moment when I finally “got it” – about having a Pope.

On Thursday, at CSS Joshua study, I shared all this with my small group, and at our next fellowship lunch in January, the women decided we would all bring an antennae story to share.

Thanks for using your God given gifts to reach and teach so many of us!  May God bless you and your family this Christmas time.

~Marnie

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