A larger than life size DIVINE MERCY met me with great surprise at the Westminster Abbey this weekend. I was astonished, as Simone Weil, would likely say.
THE DIVINE MERCY icon has been extremely meaningful to me over the past 2 years. When it found me at St. Stephens in Vienna almost 2 years ago it took my breath away, moved me deeply to tears, and was the only thing to do so in all the chapels, churches, basilicas, and cathedrals we explored on our trip through some of Europe, as I had decided to set God “over there” for a while on my grief journey. This image captivated my inner attention mysteriously and poignantly. There was something in the eyes of Jesus that I knew saw me exactly as I was and still crimson love and whitest light streamed from his heart to mine. I remember saying loudly inside my head, “But YOU, I can’t get rid of YOU!” I took the little piece of paper, with this drawing on it, that was offered us for free. It remained tucked in a book, my pocket, my purse, wherever, for almost a year until I felt nudged to research it. I discovered it came from THE DIVINE MERCY icon of Christ having entered through the locked door of the upper room to meet Thomas who, to me, wasn’t “doubting”, rather, was longing for his own personal encounter with the risen Christ. I have cherished and held sacred this tattered paper image, and a beautifully mounted icon that had been made for me by my friends, Brad and Eden. In my everyday life, in my world, I have not seen this image anywhere else. Until four days ago.
Last Friday …..when I sauntered into the Westminster Abbey, my arms full to set up for a 3-day retreat we were offering there, and looked straight ahead of me across the room. Greeting me there stood this ‘super-size’ image. The same artistic piece that had met me in Vienna almost two years ago. My breathing suddenly stopped and I very slowly followed my legs as they moved in a sacred rhythm to draw me near. I didn’t know whether to laugh right out loud or fall bowing on my knees. Stillness held me unmovable except for the holy breath that now moved my upper body up and down, in and out, captivated by this Grand Embrace of The Divine Mercy.
The Divine Mercy continues to flow from that little scrap paper through this mega size image down, down, deeply into my being where springs of joy are tapped and Love overflows in ever fresh streams of grace. That I could be so blessed.
The funny thing is that I really dislike the glamorized version of this icon – it’s just too Hollywood for me – preferring the original from Saint Faustina Kowalska with the kind assistance of the Divine Mercy Apostolate. I think that is the humor of the Sacred in life, all become so meaningful regardless of our preferences. I am one who is most grateful I can now laugh with tears of mostly thankfulness rather than tears of only despair. The Pascal Mystery indeed. Divine Mercy to you in all of her glory.