My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me — clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness.
Diary of Saint Faustina 177
I had a new catechist in my RCIA class tonight. He went through RCIA a couple of years ago and he has kept on attending. He is a lawyer by trade. And he has a love for God in his heart. He offered to help this year and the Holy Spirit told me it was time for him to speak. The class he would be teaching was actually on the Holy Spirit. Because that’s how God works. We were completing a series of classes on the Trinity beginning with God the Father, then God the Son, and finally God the Holy Spirit.
The class was like a usual class. He pointed out what Scripture and tradition have said and we had discussion in the class. He was doing a fine job. But I don’t think I was prepared for his story at the end of class. It had us all listening intently.
He said in his life when it comes to the fuzziness or mystery of God, he tries to grasp at something tangible in life that he can relate it to. He wanted to tell us his depiction of the Trinity. Because he is a lawyer he said he came across many prostitutes and runaways in court. He said they were not bad people, but just people who had gotten themselves into a bad situation. He said this had him ponder God as Trinity, and how can God be both Justice and Mercy at the same time. Then he told his analogy.
He said to picture that you are in a court room in Sinagpore, where caning is a regular punishment for crime. He said to picture yourself there, as the defendant. And you actually are guilty, you know you are because you did commit the crime. Picture yourself in the center of the courtroom crying the ugly cry, the guilty cry. Across from you is the Prosecutor. This he said is The Accuser. The Accuser tells you that you are no good. You are guilty. You can never be loved.
On one side of you is your Advocate. The Advocate whispers in a still small voice in your ear that you are loved. Remember the Holy Spirit is your Advocate. Jesus stands on the other side of you, they cry with you. The Father also cries. He is the just judge but he cries for you.
You confess. You are guilty. You are sorry. The judge, in order to be just, has to exact the punishment. In the case of sin, handing you over to the accuser, to be caned. Justice demands it. But Mercy steps in. Jesus covers over your body as the caning begins. You don’t feel the caning because mercy has stepped in. Thus God is both Justice and Mercy. The punishment still exacted, but on the Son, and not you. Justice and Mercy both at the same time. The Just judge loves you so much that He sent His only Son to receive the Justice meant for you, and mercy pours over you, the contrite and humbled sinner.
Imagine if you will, that you reject God. You decide you don’t need an Advocate, you don’t need mercy. You feel justified in your sin. You will defend yourself and your rightness. You stand alone in the Pride of your sin justifying what you have done. This time the Advocate, the Just Judge, and Mercy wait for your invitation. They call out to you but you say no, I can do this on my own. The Just judge will still exact the punishment because you are still guilty. But this time, because you have rejected mercy of your own free will, you have no one to cover you when the caning begins. You have left mercy out of your life and you have handed yourself over to the Accuser. The Just Judge only doing exactly what you asked.
That my friends is what happens when we don’t examine our conscience and turn to God in all humility and ask for Him to help us. God wants to pour oceans of mercy upon us, we just have to say yes to it. Admit our failings, and mercy will save us. This is why we pray, Lord have mercy.
Susan, this is incredible. I have always been a little flummoxed by how God could simultaneously be fully just and fully merciful. But because I, like your new catechist, am a lawyer by trade, his analogy, made it click for me. Thank you for sharing this.
All I can say is wow. As a cathechist myself that is going to help me mightily in my own understanding so I can be a better teacher. Thank you so much.