A day of reflection for millions of Americans since the dark events of this day in 2001. Thousands of Americans were murdered by a handful of men.
A good day to reflect on something so incredibly more important and powerful than that, however, as odd as that may seem.
Humankind has been murdering and exterminating humankind for centuries. The Romans enjoyed serving Christians for lunch to wild animals. The Nazis exterminated millions of Jews. The Communist Soviet Union exterminated millions of its own citizens.
I could continue, citing other examples, but that’s not the point.
And now Planned Parenthood, exposed not only as an abortion mill, but as a cold, calculating trafficker of “fetal tissue.” We all know what that really means.
But let’s not debate the right or the wrong of it.
That’s not what this post is about.
Death is death. Death is final.
Yes, tortuous death is not the same as dying peacefully in the presence of loving family and friends in the comfort of one’s bed. Or falling asleep, only to die in one’s sleep, never having a chance to say goodbye or wrap up those nasty loose ends.
Death is still death.
And what happens after death?
You know that I’m a faithful Catholic. I believe that we encounter our Creator. We encounter God.
And our eternal fate is presented to us.
Did we persevere to the end? Did we acknowledge our sinfulness and acknowledge Jesus as our Savior?
We can get into specifics and semantics about needing to be saved… about needing or not needing works to save us…
… but not here.
That’s not the point of this post.
What happens after death?
What happens to the murdered Syrian Christian sacrificed at the hands of a brutal member if ISIS?
What happens to the people crushed under the weight of the collapsing World Trade Center towers?
What happens to the suicide murderers?
The same darn thing.
We all encounter God. And we account for our lives.
We make choices while we live.
We also have a choice when we die.
Will we acknowledge that Jesus Christ came to save us and will we accept His saving help?
Will we turn our backs on the mercy of God and not accept His control over our eternity?
Do you even believe it?
You also know that I am an avid proponent of the devotion of St. Faustina Kowalska and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Jesus appeared to St. Faustina. It’s been documented. Read about it here.
Jesus gave the young nun specific instructions on living a life of mercy.
“I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
“I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer.
“In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 742).
I’m not a big fan of many politicians, pop culture icons, and others that I think cause great distress for our country. Doesn’t matter. I owe them mercy.
“My love and mercy knows no bounds.” (Diary, 718)
How can I express love for those who perpetrated 9/11? I can’t. Doesn’t matter. I owe them mercy.
“The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy.” (Diary, 723)
How can we have mercy on mass murderers?
“Beg for mercy for the whole world.” (Diary, 570)
Oh… it may not be easy. But if we focus our hearts on Jesus, He will make it easy to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
“Today Jesus said to me…
‘Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.
‘This is the prayer: O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.’“ (Diary, 186, 187)
I hope you will tell me how you feel about this subject. Can you have mercy on those who hate you? On those who annoy you? On someone who tortured someone you love?
Can I help you?
Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for still not posting a meditation daily.