Here at Relevant Radio®, we believe in the power of prayer. We broadcast the Mass, the Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet to give our listeners an opportunity to pray together and to deepen their relationship with the Lord.
And while prayer is the foundation of all that we do as Catholics, we know that we cannot stop there. Each weekday Drew Mariani leads a recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and he also had Fr. Chris Alar as a guest on The Drew Mariani Show™ to explain why praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet is just one of three ways that Jesus asks us to show mercy to others.
Speaking of the Diary of St. Faustina, Fr. Chris said, “In 742 of the Diary, it’s just a passage that has been ingrained in my heart for years. Jesus makes it very clear that I am giving you three ways to live mercy: words, deeds, and prayer.”
In paragraph 742 of Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul St. Faustina writes that Jesus told her:
“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 742)
“Now, basically what he’s saying is that deed is the best because that is our love,” Fr. Chris explained. “Many people say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but if they do not do the will of my Father they are missing the point of being a disciple. So, in other words, deeds are a beautiful way to show love, and to act and to live love.”
“Now, Christ though, He knows our weaknesses,” Fr. Chris continued. “And He knows that some of us just can’t do deeds of mercy in certain circumstances. Like, maybe somebody hurt you so bad. Let’s suppose somebody hurt you so entirely bad … and you just can’t get to the place of doing a nice deed for them, because you can’t be in the same room. And Jesus says, ‘I’m giving you other ways to give and do mercy.'”
While deeds are the best way to show mercy to others – and the Church gives us the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy – if you are in a place where you are not able to show mercy to someone through deeds, that doesn’t let you off the hook. Jesus also asks us to show mercy through our words.
“Can you speak kindly of them or to them?,” Fr. Chris asked. “Maybe if you can’t even be in the same room, maybe to other people you can say something kind about that person. And even if you can’t get yourself to do that, Jesus basically says you can at least pray for them.”
Jesus, knowing our hearts, told St. Faustina that we must not try to excuse or absolve ourselves from showing mercy always and everywhere. What excuses are keeping you from showing mercy in deed, word, or prayer? And what can you do today to show mercy in one of those three ways?