In my own life Christ’s revelations to St. Faustina are taking on more importance as I see the accelerating decline of our societies. I’ve read history all my life (my MA is in California history) and it’s not hard to recognize how many of our societal dynamics match those that immediately preceded great wars, particularly World War I. Many observers far more astute than me consider some form of global conflict inevitable in the near future. I may or may not live to see it, but the conditions in which we now live cannot sustain a peaceful social order forever. As in the first decade of the 20th Century, we enjoy unprecedented wealth and technology but increasingly lack the social consensus on how to use it. Cultural fabrics are fraying, and if it feels like we are the edge of social collapse (notice, for example, how many movies over the last ten years portray global apocalypse and social Armageddon), it is because we are.
A significant number of our fellow Americans no longer believe in God, and most Europeans (to whom the world still looks for cultural standards) have lost faith in anything beyond “science.” Many of these conditions preceded the Great War in Europe, which would spread from 1914 throughout the world until its final denouement in 1945. It was between the World Wars that Jesus began speaking with a poor nun in a convent only a few miles from the Polish village of Oswiencim, a name the Germans would change to “Auschwitz.” In those years, Germany led the world in science and technology, her universities setting world academic standards and her politics defining global power. Germany’s universities and her technology, however, could not by themselves sustain a peaceful social order. Human intelligence that does not refer to a point beyond itself—that pretends that it is self-creative—always leads to chaotic power struggles. Put two people in a room without a higher authority and they will eventually end up killing each other.
Christ’s Divine Mercy is that higher authority. He is essentially a heart overflowing with love for each of us. Without Him, we simply cannot live in peace with each other. Western culture is living on the fumes of faith, attempting to order our lives together without reference to our first principle. This Sunday in my parish I will pass out images of Christ’s Divine Mercy along with prayer cards. I also highly recommend Fr. Gaitley’s excellent video series on FORMED.ORG. Jesus, I trust in Thee!