We have a sanitized view of Jesus’ crucifixion. Although we have visuals of it everywhere, the sheer brutality is almost too difficult to think about. Jesus’ torture and execution were not an academic exercise. It was an act of total love and surrender, a bold statement about the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of life that changed the course of human history.
There is no limiting principle to God’s mercy; that’s one reason it is so unfathomable. How can God forgive such grievous offenses? How can He continue to put up with our habitual sin, our failure to course correct, and our inability to live the truth of the Gospel and trust in His love?
It’s because of this that I love the image of Divine Mercy. In it, mercy flows from Christ’s body, but the word that we use, torrents is so descriptive. It’s not a ripple, or a wave, it’s a strong, overwhelming, gushing flow that overcomes everything in its path.
Why is it necessary for this mercy to flow with such vigor? It’s because God understands us intimately; He lived as one of us. He knows the challenges that we face, and the courage required to live the life that He made us for. Think about just a few of the things we’re asked to do. As parents, we’re to care for and raise new life. We have to help our children navigate a broken world, to discover their moral compass, and to internalize the importance of a relationship with God.
We are tested, tempted, and tried in almost every moment of the day. God Himself knew this reality. That’s why, out of the depths of His love and through His own genius, He made this mercy available for us, if only we are to ask of it.
Building a strong habit of prayer is an excellent offense in overcoming our natural weaknesses, but perfection is just not possible. When we fail, we must pray for the humility to be completely inundated with the torrents of God’s mercy.