How to Proclaim the Devotion to The Divine Mercy correctly?
What is essential for spreading honour of the Mercy is to preach the message correctly, which also requires solicitude for the purity of the Divine Mercy devotion in the forms conveyed by Sister Faustina.
It is known that nowadays the Divine Mercy devotion is very popular. Therefore, many publications that have appeared on the shelves spread the Divine Mercy devotion in a way that is oversimplified and often incorrect, which, as a result, leads to an incorrect practice of the devotion.
In his treatise on Sister Faustina’s writings which was prepared for the needs of her beatification process, the Rev. Professor Ignacy Różycki laid the theological foundations for this devotion.
An abridged version of the treatise has been published in the booklet entitled: ‚The Divine Mercy. Essential Features of The Devotion to The Divine Mercy’ whereas the whole text – in the book: ‚The Devotion to the Divine Mercy’ (‚Misericordia’ Publishing House, Cracow 1999, second edition – 2008). In the light of the treatise, the attitude of trust in the Lord God (that is, the biblical attitude of trust) and the attitude of mercy towards neighbours are the essence of the Divine Mercy devotion.
Only this foundation is the basis of the forms of the devotion: the Image of the Merciful Jesus, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, the Hour of Mercy and spreading honour of the Divine Mercy.
The Lord Jesus attached promises to these forms of the devotion to the Divine Mercy which pertain to everyone (not only to Sister Faustina; for example, as regards the act ‚O Blood and Water’ or the ‚Novena to the Divine Mercy’ He attached some promises only to her).
If there is no foundation, that is, if one’s Christian life is not shaped in the spirit of trust in God and mercy towards neighbour, none of the forms will be a true act of the Devotion and no desired results will be obtained by means of it. Therefore – writes Rev. I. Różycki – for instance, if someone says the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, however, he does it without trust, he will not receive anything that Jesus has attached to the Chaplet said with trust.
As regards spreading and practising the Devotion to the Divine Mercy, the most frequent mistakes result from the fact that only excerpts from the ‚Diary’, analysed out of context, are disseminated and also from the fact that the devotion is practised incorrectly.
Certain sentences are taken out of the ‚Diary’ and disseminated, however, the entire work is not analysed and a sentence (statement) is considered an axiom or the entire truth about something. Examples:
I desire that there be a congregation which will proclaim God’s mercy and, by its prayers, obtain it for the world.Someone who has read this sentence thinks that the Lord Jesus wants a concrete religious congregation to be founded, a congregation which will undertake certain tasks. However, the analysis of the entire ‚Diary’ shows that the Lord Jesus does not mean one congregation but a great work in the Church which today we call the Apostolic Movement of the Divine Mercy (cf. Diary 1155).
The soul that will venerate this image will not perish(or other promises quoted without the conditions). This promise as well as other promises of the Lord Jesus will be fulfilled if man meets certain conditions and, as regards the Devotion to the Divine Mercy, the conditions are the following: trust in the Lord God and the attitude of an active love towards neighbours.
The soul that will venerate this image … that is, the soul who prays with trust before it and also performs acts of mercy; it is not a person who, for instance, has the image in the wallet.
What is a frequent mistake is that the forms of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy, for instance the Chaplet, Novena or Litany, are propagated, however the essence of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy is not explained and the privileged forms of the Devotion are not differentiated from other prayers noted down in Sister Faustina’s ‚Diary’.
The other group of mistakes has its origins in the incorrect practice of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy. Most frequently the faithful are not inculcated with the Christian attitude of trust in God and mercy towards neighbours but they are taught devotions only, for instance – to say the Chaplet, some of the words are added or omitted when the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy is said, private revelations and devotions are combined,
Sister Faustina’s mission is analysed without taking the Holy Scripture into consideration.
The message of Mercy, on which we are to live and which we are to share with others, is God’s great gift for our times. This gift is a sign of hope, pledge of salvation and light on human paths in the third millennium of the faith.