I am always fascinated by conversion stories. I envy converts to the faith because they came to the Church out of their own free will. Although I went to Catholic school for most of my life, I didn’t have full knowledge of how awesome being Catholic was until college. But even cradle Catholics are called to love the Church they grew up in. Most of us have a crisis of faith at some point or another and that always changes us, for better or for worse. We also know many people who suffer a crisis of faith and end up leaving the Church. It’s a heartbreaking concept. But somehow, by the grace of God, some people find their way back home.
There’s this beautiful paradox called “Felix Culpa,” also known as the “happy fault.” Traditionally, it’s associated with the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The “happy fault” being that through eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, God gave mankind a second chance by sending Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. One common thing the conversion stories I heard have is that they all started out in a fallen state and it wasn’t until they fell in love with the church that they found happiness beyond their comprehension.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was created when St. Faustina had a vision of an angel preparing to strike a city. She implored the angel to stop, but her pleas went unanswered until she started praying the prayers that would eventually become the Divine Mercy Chaplet. All of a sudden, the angel stopped and couldn’t carry out the punishment. (Diary 474-476) Think about this for a second. This city, for whatever reason, was about to be punished. It recalls the story of Sodom and Gomorroah, a city doomed to be punished by the angels. And yet, through Faustina’s prayers, this city had been spared.
Whenever the Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed, one particular prayer gets repeated a lot: “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Think about that for a second. All the times that we thought the world would end, all the times that we see disasters on the news or evil deeds being committed, God is showing His mercy on the world by allowing life to go on. Why? Because He created humans with the capacity to change. And His mercy is so great that He is willing to wait for those who seem beyond hope to come home and come back to Him.
Let’s continue to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and offer it as an intercession for those who have fallen away from the Church. Let’s pray for those of other faiths and denominations, for those who don’t know God or those who have lost faith in Him, and for those who refuse to believe in Him. God will shower His mercy on them and show you His grace for your intercession.