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  • 05 Jun 2018 6:54 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    As mentioned in Part 1, we pray in many ways. All of them connect us to God in a manner unique to the type of prayer and convey graces to our embattled souls. The three main methods of prayer are:

    1. Liturgical — the Church's powerful prayers of communal worship
    2. Formal —  composed prayers, such as the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy
    3. Mental — conversational prayer wherein you nurture a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ.

    All are necessary for a fruitful life, but in this article, we're going to focus on the latter.

    How Do I Know Jesus is Listening?

    If you ever denied that Jesus is truly who He says He is in the Bible, speaking to Him probably seemed like foolishness. Now that you know better, you might wonder if He's really close to you and willing to pay attention. Wonder no longer. Jesus Himself promises His proximity when in John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.'" As a baptized believer, He actually takes up residence with you. When people in your household talk to you, you can't help but hear them, right? Unlike ordinary family, though, He never tunes you out because once He lives in you, He only has ears for you. Every thought that crosses your mind He hears, and He loves it most when you direct your internal dialogue to Him.

    If I Hear a Response, Can I Be Sure It Isn't the Devil?

    At some point in all our lives, we've heard Satan's voice and mistook it for truth. Since it's actually the devil's job to challenge you, he would try to get between you and the Lord in your prayers, if he could. Our job is to immerse ourselves daily in the presence of God who is our safe refuge against the lies of the devil. When we direct our thoughts to Jesus and the Divine Trinity, we can rest assured that Satan can't lead us astray in our prayers. Jesus vividly illustrates this truth in the Gospel of St. Luke when He says, "What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?" (Luke 11:11-12). 

    Rather, when we pray and talk to Jesus, He disallows Satan's misdirection to enter the conversation. Our mental prayers are private and privileged as confirmed by Jesus Himself.

    I'm Too Busy to Pray!

    If you think your life is too distracted to pray much, all you need to do is imagine that you can see Jesus with you wherever you are. In this way, you consciously include Him in your day, no matter how it unfolds. If your best friend came to spend time with you for a week, you would be constantly aware of their presence all day long. You would talk to the friend or not as situations allowed. That's all you need to do to remain in prayer all day long. Invite Jesus into your ever-flowing internal dialogue.

    Pray Always

    The eighteenth chapter of St. Luke begins with this verse: "Then he told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart." Jesus never exhorts us to do what He knows we can't. Therefore, it certainly is possible to pray always. As a saint-in-progress once said, "If I'm awake, I'm praying." Words to live by.

    To really kickstart your comprehensive prayer life, we highly recommend you acquire a Pieta Prayer Book. These ancient prayers of the Church, most of which were dictated from Heaven to saints, will set your heart on fire. As the books are inexpensive, you may want to purchase extra copies to give away once you experience the flood of graces they channel to your soul.

    Bethesda Healing Ministry understands and helps women and men devastated by abortion. Based in Columbus, OH, we invite the wounded and despairing to come receive healing and hope

  • 04 Jun 2018 4:02 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    Have you ever had an intimate friendship in which you never communicated with your friend? No? Then, how is it that we long for a viable relationship with God but are somehow embarrassed to pray? Yet, nothing in this world offers as much reward for so very little effort. While prayer happens in many ways — Mass and Communion, formal invocations such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Confiteor — speaking to God from your mind opens a personal conversation that only you and He can have. It is the most private and, ultimately, the most productive type of prayer.

    Did the Saints Pray Much?

    St. Faustina, known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy and a mystic who received many visions from God, should know a thing or two about the value of prayer. From the Diary of St. Faustina, we learn:

    “By prayer a soul arms itself for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty. A soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it. A soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again. A sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer” (Diary, 146).

    “...a soul should be faithful to prayer despite torments, dryness and temptations, because often the realization of God’s great plans depends on such prayer. If we do not persevere in such prayer, we frustrate what the Lord wanted to do through us or within us. Let every soul remember these words: And being in anguish, He prayed longer” (Diary, 872).

    “We should often pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace of prudence. Prudence consists in discretion, rational reflection and courageous resolution. The final decision is always up to us” (Diary, 1106).

    So, Saints Pray, But I'm No Saint

    Let everyone who has ever thought, "God only deals with saints; He doesn't want to be bothered by the likes of me, a major sinner," please raise their hands. Far easier to count the people to whom Satan never whispered such a lie than the ones to whom he has and who fell for it. It's his favorite falsehood, the one that can delay an emerging saint by years. Ignore the evil one. Jesus stands just on the other side of the door of your heart with His ear pressed up against it and his hand gripping the knob, waiting for the faintest cry from within. After all, He promised "...Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you" (Luke 11:9). Therefore, according to His promise, at the sound of His name, he'll come bounding into any wounded heart, rejoicing that you finally called on Him.

    In Part II, we'll discuss the reasons why you can be absolutely confident in God's answers to your prayers, plus a few pointers to help you get up on your prayer legs.

    Bethesda Healing Ministry wants to help those women and men suffering the after-effects of abortion in the Columbus metro area. With a Catholic Christian foundation, we offer kindness, understanding and a sure path to healing. Many of us here have walked your walk. Please contact us to learn more.

  • 20 Feb 2018 7:28 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    In our previous article, "Charity (Love) - The Bedrock of the Theological Virtues" — we explained the definition of this supernatural virtue and how it works. Here, we will discuss why charity (agape love) is the greatest of all the virtues.

    Different Types of Virtues

    The Catholic faith categorizes virtues into Cardinal, Capital and Theological.

    Capital Virtues. Chastity, generosity, temperance, brotherly love, meekness, humility and diligence comprise the capital virtues. They moderate our passions and overcome our temptations towards the seven deadly sins of lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, pride and sloth. 

    Cardinal Virtues. There are four cardinal virtues from which the capital virtues flow: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. As moral virtues, these cardinal and capital virtues all come from our own decisions and practice.

    Theological, or Supernatural, Virtues. The theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are called supernatural virtues because we only receive them as direct gifts from God at baptism. No amount of self-effort or practice of the capital and cardinal virtues can grant or develop the supernatural virtues within us. As St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, charity is the greatest of the three theological virtues.

    Charity Contains Them All

    Jesus tells us that the first commandment is to love God with all of our being, then to love one another as we love ourselves. In other words, once we choose to act on this love, this charity, from God, we are to first direct it back to Him. Then, we are to direct it towards all other people. In so doing, we become capable of properly loving others, even those who make themselves our enemies. Sometimes, we seem to be our own enemies, particularly when we've fallen short of virtuous behavior.

    However, when we love God with His gift of charity, we instantly receive the capacity to love ourselves and others for His sake. Because neither pride, hate nor indifference can spawn any virtue at all; charity surrounds, contains, connects and supports all other virtues. It is the womb from which proper knowledge and love of self and all other people is born. It provides the logic and reason, not to mention the power, for self-sacrifice. 

    As St. Paul tells us, "Charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." With it, all of the other virtues grow until the practice of loving others becomes second nature.

    We hope you've learned a few things from our articles on the theological virtues. At Bethesda Healing Ministry, we pray to expand all of the virtues based on the faith, hope and charity we received at our baptisms. We dedicate our ministry to helping those suffering the wounds of abortion. Through our compassionate, non-judgmental programs, we offer life-saving hope to the despairing.

    If you would like to learn more about Bethesda Healing Ministry, we welcome you to contact us confidentially.

  • 20 Feb 2018 7:20 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, St. Paul lists the three theological virtues: faith, hope and charity. We've discussed faith and hope, so now we'll focus on the greatest of these virtues, charity.

    Defining Charity

    Paul, writing in Greek, expresses "charity" with the Greek agape (ah-GAH-pay). English translations render agape simply as "love." Our concepts of the words "love" and "charity" can prevent a full understanding of what God, through the Apostle, means to say. Charity and love can indicate giving to others from your physical possessions or talents out of a fraternal or familial sense of love. These are known as corporal works of mercy.

    However, as a theological virtue, charity is the bedrock, self-sacrificial love that can inspire us to lay down our very lives for another. Jesus on the cross exemplifies and proves the theological virtue of charity.

    The Love to Which All Other Types are Ordered

    We can experience natural love without having charity. Romantic, brotherly and parental affections all spring from our natures and even some animals can experience these affections in some way. Yet, without the virtue of charity, these types of love can become disordered to serve our sinful passions.

    With true God-given charity, though, we see and love others in the same way God does. Rather than pursue lust, personal gain from a friend's resources and abilities or control under the guise of protecting offspring, with charity, we pursue only that which is truly good for the other. With charity, all other loves become ordered and more consistent. We become willing to die so another may live, if need be. Jesus Christ displayed perfect charity on the cross, taking the punishment we deserve so we could come back to the Father.

    How Does Charity Work?

    Charity allows us to detach ourselves from all things created and attach ourselves to God. We see and react to others in a properly ordered way through our attachment to God. With His charity, we can love more like He does than we ever could with merely natural human affection.

    While charity certainly inspires and demands acts of corporal mercy, it also inspires acts of spiritual mercy. We are obliged to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick and the prisoner, all acts of corporal mercy. Spiritual acts of mercy include counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant. The gift of charity also requires that we become willing to speak hard truths when the fate of a soul depends on it.

    Lack of charity can translate into tolerance for sin to not offend or shame another. It can be exactly the opposite of what a sinner actually needs. It does not judge souls, as that is hypocrisy. But it does warn that hell awaits if the sinner continues in mortal sin. Our charity sincerely desires that in heaven we will enjoy the company of all the other people God created. 

    We continue this topic of charity in our next article, "The Conclusion of the Theological Virtues - Why Charity is the Greatest Virtue."

    Bethesda Healing Ministry is a compassionate and loving place to experience both corporal and spiritual charity. Our non-judgmental counseling offers a lifeline to those who have lost the way and need a helping hand. We're here to help facilitate post-abortion healing for the broken-hearted. Please contact us today to begin your journey to spiritual recovery.

  • 20 Feb 2018 7:12 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    In other articles, we've discussed the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, what they are and what they do for us. Now, we're going to talk about how belief in Jesus Christ moves us to action in two ways: first, for our own good, and second, for the good of others.

    Faith Liberates You First

    Usually, when you are sunk deeply in a well of pain, you can't really think about pursuing the good of others. And that's okay. How can you joyfully help others when you feel like such a broken mess yourself? Because the wounds of abortion can seem insurmountable, it's hard to imagine turning your faith outward until you accept from God that you can, indeed, be reconciled and made free. By reaching out for help, your faith first stabilizes you in the healing process that Jesus brokered for you on the cross.

    Faith opens your eyes to God's mercy and love. While the devil tries to keep you blind and deaf to God's call, accusing you day and night for the abortion(s), faith acts like a cone of silence dropped over the devil, freeing your mind to hear the Lord's words instead. He says, "I know what happened, I know your grief, I love you anyway, and I forgive you. Take my hand and come with me." Faith powers your act of stretching for His hand and climbing out of the darkness. Often, scaling the walls of the pit involves the compassion offered by others, such as the counselors at Bethesda Healing Ministry.

    Faith Lights a Fire of Love Under Your Feet

    Once He has lifted you from the depth of your sorrows and trauma, you start to register the needs of others, especially those just like you. Faith ignites a fire in your heart for the Lord and for your fellow brothers and sisters. The flame in your soul greatly moves you to help other victims of abortion see with the eyes of faith, too.

    As St. James says, "Faith without works is dead." True faith inspires your action, your spiritual instinct to become a lifeline of hope for the drowning. If a person proclaims that they have faith but feel no compulsion to act on behalf of his or her fellows in some capacity, that person only possesses intellectual faith, not the supernatural virtue by the same name. Spiritual faith demands exercise. Without movement, faith becomes desperately weak, like a prisoner in solitary confinement.

    If faith has compelled you to finally seek post-abortion healing, know that Bethesda Healing Ministry provides a safe, compassionate place to start. Here, you will find only loving, Christian guidance and sacramental ministry. Many of our Companions have experienced abortion themselves and now act out their faith to help restore sisters and brothers who have fallen into the same sin. Others faithfully give their hearts to Bethesda's work in a number of indirect ways, prayer most of all. Of course, financial donations to the ministry keep the doors open and the lights on so more despairing people can find rest.

    Please contact us today at Bethesda Healing Ministry if you need healing or would like to support our important work, or both.

  • 13 Feb 2018 1:27 PM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    If we all earned a dollar every time we heard the exhortation, "Have faith," our wallets would overflow with cash. Sometimes, it seems a lot easier to talk about faith than to have it. Even the disciples of Jesus struggled. In Luke 17:5, recognizing their poverty of faith, the disciples begged the Lord to, "Increase our faith!"

    Belief in Truth Unseen

    On one hand, we get the message that we can generate true faith in God from within. On the other, we quickly realize that we cannot, that we first need to receive some measure of faith as a supernatural gift from God. Or, for those who were baptized as babies, we need our repository of faith, deposited at baptism, to be effectively cultivated and grown. 

    As creatures uniquely created with flesh, ignorant of all things until our senses perceive them, and with the light of intellect, by which to understand truth based on the testimony of others, grace can lead us to a sure belief in God and to desire His benefits. But it's only at baptism that we receive the special gift of supernatural faith. It is only by way of this theological virtue of faith that we can become like little children in the eyes of God. As Jesus explained in Matthew 18:3, "Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." In other words, the gift of faith enables us to approach the Lord like an innocent child again and be lifted onto His lap. Resting our heads on His breast, we can then listen to His heartbeat. The gift of faith overcomes our senses that cannot perceive God and enables a personal, one-on-one relationship with Him.

    Faith Trusts in God's Mercy and Promises

    Because the universe grandly displays its Creator, from the tiniest grain of sand to the most distant star, we can believe in God rather easily. However, when we look in the mirror at the handiwork that proves God, we recall faulty behavior that we believe should make God turn from us in revulsion. It is a reasonable contemplation. However, when we seek and receive God's gift of supernatural faith, we gain the ability to understand and trust in the divine mercy that He can't wait to pour out upon us. 

    Faith infuses us with deep repentance and the humility to recognize that we possess no power of our own to do which is good and right. Faith also fills us with the knowledge of His genuine, fatherly love and that He really does forgive us no matter what we've done. It grants us a future beyond this world where all things have been made right. Fortunately for us, God never turns away. He always stands ready to fill with the virtue of faith for those who yearn for it.

    Bethesda Healing Ministry helps men and women suffering from post-abortion anger, anxiety and depression. Our compassionate counselors have walked in your shoes. Please take the first step on your road to recovery by contacting us today.

  • 23 Jan 2018 10:07 AM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    We know from experience that when we lack faith, our hopes remain Earthbound and temporal. They seek little more than our physical and emotional good as we march towards our eventual end. However, God formed man to recognize that we have a mysterious destiny beyond this world. We realize that Earthly happiness proves transient and knows many enemies. Yet, we yearn for the secure, undiluted happiness that only comes from meeting its source face to face.

    With sins piled up behind us as substantial as Mt. Everest, can we have any hope of eternal happiness? Do we need faith to have hope? 

    The Three Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity

    Humans experience ordinary hope (I hope my friend likes my gift) and faith (the sun will rise again tomorrow), and they are as natural as your nose. But the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are special. God alone grants them and they can't come to you by your own reason, effort or natural virtue. If they could, then Satan could extinguish them at his pleasure.

    Because the hope of the soul comes from God, all Satan can do is attempt to deceive man against it. As the Accuser, the devil tells you one of two things: that either your salvation is guaranteed no matter what you do, think or believe; or that your sins are so horrendous that you can never be forgiven and saved. He tries to instill either presumption or despair.

    Hope Sees a Future Worth Having

    But supernatural hope, implanted by faith, conquers presumption and despair. Faith, through our consciences, instructs us that we can still choose, by mortal sin, to separate ourselves from a destiny with God. By faith, we avoid the sin of presuming that we will enjoy perfect happiness with Him no matter what we do. Faith reminds us that God never casts us away. Rather, when we commit grave sin, it is our conscious decision to cast Him away.

    With hope, we recognize that our fallen nature cannot supply us with forgiveness and salvation, but that God supplies it for us. Hope informs us that if we sincerely desire perfect happiness, He will ensure it on our behalf. We need not ever despair of His love and willingness to forgive even the most intractable sin upon our repentance. Pope Benedict explains in Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope): "We see as a distinguishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: It is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness. Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well." (SS 2)

    Hope and Faith Walk Hand in Hand

    The virtues of faith and hope prove one in essence. As the Father eternally begets the Son, so faith begets hope. When God increases in us one, we receive yet more of the other. As faith builds hope, we have nothing to fear from this life because we know our end opens the gates to perfect happiness.

    If you struggle with the wounds of abortion and the temptation to despair, please contact us at Bethesda Healing Ministry. We offer loving support for those who need to know that all is not lost. God's loving kindness makes healing not only possible but real.

  • 09 Jan 2018 10:59 AM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    Man can experience two kinds of hope. First, we have ordinary hope that may or may not stem from virtue. We can hope for good fortune, and we can hope for disaster to strike those who impede our good fortune, for example. The second, supernatural hope, is instilled in us at baptism. As a theological virtue, it orients our natural hopes to the will of God and fills us with the courage to press forward through all of the assaults of the devil and every misfortune.

    How Does Christian Hope Work?

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this (and more) to say about the special virtue of hope: ...The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint" (Rom 5:5). Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul..." Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation....It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation" (Rom 12:12).

    It is God who sustains hope in us. After all, fallen man has no power to lift himself up in hope. The hope of attaining perfect happiness with God at the end of our difficult journey on Earth must have a divine guarantee. However, because the virtue of hope comes from God and is good for us, rest assured the devil never sleeps in his effort to rob us of it.

    The Enemies of Hope

    Although Satan can't remove from us a theological virtue, he can try to confuse us with lies. Against hope, he tries to sink us into despair. If that fails, he takes a different tack and attempts to lead us into the sin of presumption.


    If we can't accept the truth of God's love and mercy, we come to believe that we are unlovable and worthless. We can wrongly think that our sins are so great that God would never forgive them no matter if we admit them with all remorse and sorrow.


    If the evil one can't overcome our feeble understanding of our tremendous value to God, then he'll propose that God loves us so much that we can't separate ourselves from His salvation no matter what we do. He'll fill our heads with the idea that once we're saved, we're always saved, so we can go ahead and submit to temptation and continue to sin just as egregiously as we please with no regrets.

    Experiencing True Hope

    But hope exposes despair and presumption for what they are: big lies. God never created a human He didn't love infinitely and eternally. He desires all men to be saved, even when He knows plenty of us will ultimately reject Him. Furthermore, hope cautions us that our sin signifies a denial of God and does, indeed, separate us from Him. Because God knows well how we are terminally weak, He provides us with the Sacrament of Penance by which we can restore our relationship with Him after we've lost it to sin. The Sacrament reveals a huge sign of hope for us. True hope expels despair and presumption as the sun banishes the night.

    Bethesda Healing Ministry offers loving, practical help to restore hope to those deeply wounded by abortion. Please contact us today to learn more.

  • 07 Dec 2017 9:58 AM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    In part one of our series, we discussed Divine Mercy — what it is, how God manifested His Mercy in Scripture and how He continues to underscore the importance of His Mercy in our times. Now, we'll continue with five ways we can promote Mercy in the world, put our trust in Jesus and obtain Divine Mercy through His Holy Mother, Mary.

    Five Ways to Promote Mercy: 5 Wounds

    As mentioned in part one, Jesus chose the humble nun, Sister (now Saint) Faustina to broadcast His urgent exhortation to all people to avail themselves of His Divine Mercy and call it down on other poor souls. He had many things to say to His servant, many instructions on how to approach Him for Mercy. One method is to appeal to His five wounds in the following ways.

    1. The Image of the Merciful Jesus

    Our Lord asked St. Faustina to commission a painting of Himself showing two rays, one red and the other white, shining forth from His Heart. The white ray stands for the water which "makes souls righteous," as He told the Saint. The red stands for His Blood which "is the life of souls." Veneration of His image, Jesus promised, would cause Him to pour out great graces and protection from the trusting soul's enemies. None who heed His invitation would lose their soul.

    2. The Feast of Divine Mercy

    Jesus also called for a feast day honoring His Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II, at the canonization Mass for St. Faustina, proclaimed that the second Sunday of Easter would henceforth be the Feast of Divine Mercy.

    3. The Chaplet and Novena

    Further, Jesus dictated the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and attached many spiritual gifts to the faithful who pray a novena of the chaplet.

    4. The Great Hour of Mercy

    Speaking of the three o'clock hour, the hour of His death, upon deeply contemplating His passion, He relayed, "I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of me in virtue of My Passion” (Diary, 1320).

    5. To Give the Mercy We Have Received

    Finally, Jesus reminds us that in receiving His Mercy, we must also give true compassion and Mercy to others. True compassion, as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, is to help people recover from their actions, through God's Mercy and Love, rather than fake compassion, where people are told their actions are okay - "Just Life."

    Jesus, I Trust in You

    Those who love the Lord know to trust Him, but sometimes it is difficult. Thus, He assured St. Faustina: “The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of my graces into them. I rejoice when they ask me for much, because it is my desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow hearts" (Diary, 1578).

    Divine Mercy and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy

    As always, Jesus pours out His Mercy on the world through His Holy Mother, just as His Blood flowed through her hands at the foot of the cross. At the same time that Jesus came to Sister Faustina in Poland, Sister Lucia, one of the three to whom Our Lady had appeared at Fatima, Portugal, received a vision of the Holy Trinity. The words "Grace and Mercy" flowed from the wounds of the Son, thus establishing the correlation between His Mercy and His mother in our time.

    For those who are suffering the wounds of abortion, never think that you are beyond God's unfathomable and unchanging Mercy and Love. It is precisely for you that Jesus visited Sister Faustina with the crucial message of His rock solid and unchangeable Mercy and Love for you. Please contact us at Bethesda Healing Ministry to learn more about His Mercy and Love that heals and makes you whole again.

  • 30 Nov 2017 8:00 AM | Allison Arend (Administrator)

    In our previous blog, describing our long-term healing paradigm as rooted in Hope, which is based on a growing Faith in the one triune God. In this blog, we share Jesus' Divine Mercy, which is used in our healing approach.

    One of Satan's most successful deceptions has been to convince mankind that the Divine Mercy of God is merely a myth. Despite His Mercy bestowed upon our first parents in the Garden of Eden, He has displayed and announced His Mercy throughout all of history. If Satan spoke the truth, would God not have destroyed Adam and Eve with justified wrath in the garden?

    Instead, God has relentlessly pursued sinful man with His Love, with overflows with Mercy. Scripture confirms that God's proven nature is to call for repentance, then to forgive first and often. He punishes only as a last resort when men stubbornly refuse His loving kindness and reject His Love and Mercy. St. John assures us that God is Love (1 Jn 4:8); St. Paul promises that God is rich in Mercy (Eph 2:4); and Nehemiah verifies that God is slow to anger (Neh 9:17).

    So, why the persistent confusion? It seems that in this late stage of history, the message of Divine Mercy takes on increased urgency. What exactly is the Mercy of God, and how has God manifested it in the modern world?

    Definition of the Mercy of God

    Man, in the misery of his sin, moves God's heart to deep pity. Our Creator knows that without Christ, we have no means to help ourselves. Our flesh and pride drive us to sin under the push of the Evil One, and we have no power of our own to turn away. But God did not create man only to hate him in his helplessness. Rather He created us to Love us, and His Love is the very definition of His Mercy. Mercy drives two actions: forgiveness and grace. While these are not Mercy themselves, they form the active, unchangeable embracing arms of it.

    Divine Mercy in the Sacred Scriptures

    Because God is also just, man, both as individuals and as nations, regularly provoke Him to anger. But Sacred Scripture repeatedly reveals that God desires to pour out His Mercy and avoid dispensing to man that which he deserves. We read, as only one example out of many, from Jeremiah: "Return, rebel Israel…I will not remain angry with you; for I am merciful…I will not continue my wrath forever. Only know your guilt: how you rebelled against the Lord, your God” (Jer 3:12-13).

    How Has Mercy Manifested Itself in the Modern World?

    We know that Jesus Christ became man to bring the opportunity for repentance to the world and to forgive the sorrowful through His sacrifice on the cross. Although man has accepted this gift to varying degrees since then, as darkness now enfolds the world again, Jesus found it necessary, within the last century, to remind the world anew. In speaking to Saint Maria Faustina, He commissioned her to: “Encourage souls to place great trust in my fathomless Mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach me, for even if it had more sins than are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the immeasurable depths of my Mercy” (Diary 1059). God's Mercy has yet to reach its expiration date. We do well to sink ourselves into the ocean of His love and healing Mercy.

    If you have suffered from the wounds of abortion and seek healing, Bethesda Healing Ministry offers a safe place to accept Christ's Mercy. We understand and offer compassion grounded in experience and the unchangeable Divine Mercy and Love of God. Please contact us today. Don't forget to check back next week on our blog to read part two of this crucial blog series.

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