With this year being the Year of Mercy as declared by Pope Francis, so many things seem to be divinely popping up as opportunities to practice and learn mercy. This book was one of those occurrences. As I read this book, I felt like a wealth of information was bestowed upon me in a good way.
As a convert, when I read books like this, I am reminded at the vastness of the Catholic faith and how much there is to learn in every single aspect of it. It never gets old. I had never encountered the story of St. Faustina before, and divine mercy in itself was a new concept to me other than it being something I caught in passing or glossed over. This book did a great job recalling the life of the Saint and really taking the wisdom she shared from her life and applying it our lives today. The authors were able to take it even one step further and take aspects from their own lives and reflect on the divine mercy in them based on St. Faustina's wisdom.
When I was reading this book, there was a social media squabble on children at mass, and how they did or did not have a right to be there. Spoiler alert: They do. Divine Mercy for Moms gave a great example for this case, and actually for any circumstance that we are feeling that someone else is causing us to not draw closer to God, but is a distraction. St. Faustina as a sister would pray in the chapel with the other sisters and was positioned close to another nun that happened to make a lot of noise while she prayed. St. Faustina thought about saying something to the other sister, but she realized by doing so she would make her conscience of something that would just cause hurt with no resolution. Instead, St. Faustina learned to pray through the distraction, and because of it grew in grace abundantly. I loved this so much for many reasons, one being that as a mom, its so easy to get bogged down in blaming the kids and mess of life for a poor spiritual life when really we just need a change in perspective, and two it helps us to realize that we need to see others whether they be our children or just a particularly challenging person as people that are children of God and to pray for them to be aware of God's mercy just the same.
This book presented the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and along with them gave amazing practical examples for which to carry them out. My favorite one was to pray a chaplet of divine Mercy while making dinner for my family. My spiritual advisor was pointing out to me the other day just how much of motherhood is doing these acts of mercy, but a lot of times we just are not aware of doing them. Divine Mercy for Moms gave really practical ways to see this and to try to be aware of God's presence in our everyday. The authors even went above and beyond and gave outreach examples of the works of mercy, such as handing out water bottles on a hot day to "give drink to the thirsty".
Divine Mercy for Moms is a book that I feel like is multi-faceted, as it can be a reference book for prayers, and living out mercy, or to be a spiritual refresher or awakener in the mercy department. It's set up to either do as a personal study but could also be a really great book for a group discussion. All I know is that I definitely have to read this book again because as I said earlier there is just so much to it that its hard to soak it all up in one reading.
The authors have set up a website for their book Divine Mercy for Moms. com and I recommend it as its full of great resources that were mentioned in the book but also serves as point to connect with other moms. You can get some great ideas on how to really live out the works of mercy either from other moms or from the resource links that were mentioned in the book. Either way its a win-win.
So I hope that you are able to use this book as a way to learn and begin to carry out mercy in your life. You may be already be merciful in your daily walk and not even know it. But this is a a five star book in helping you to recognize God's mercy and we really all could use more of that.