I have been reading 33 Days to Merciful Love for the past 17 days or so. It is a personal daily retreat for 33 days that Fr. Gaitley guides you on in preparation to consecrate yourself to Divine Mercy. Each day you read about 2-3 pages. It is completely rocking my life right now, and I am so grateful for this gift He has given to me of teaching me more about His merciful love for me.
I had completed the Marian Consecration — 33 Days to Morning Glory — also written by Fr. Gaitley a few times. I really enjoyed that. When I first heard about 33 Days to Merciful Love, I knew I wanted to read it. I remember hearing about this book from Fr. Holdren at Srodo last May, and I was very intrigued by the message in the book. Again, I knew I wanted to read it, but I didn’t get around to it right away. I asked for the book and received it as a gift, but it was just sitting on my shelf. Then I heard Jeff, Jennifer, and my Mom talk about it, how much they loved it, and how it really impacted their spiritual life. I knew I needed to read it. God had been inviting me through all these ways to read it… He was just waiting for my yes. I really wanted to start reading it, but I decided I wanted my Consecration Day to be on Divine Mercy Sunday, meaning I’d start reading it May 20th. Finally the day came. I started it, and I am loving it.
The first few days of the book talk about Adam and Eve and how sin started from a lie that was told to them. This then guided me to reflect on all sin in my life and how it is committed from some lie that is being told to me. It also made me reflect on how many lies I am being tempted to think about God and others. For instance when I commit a sin I may be tempted to think that I am not worthy or I am not enough, but in reality that is when God loves me all the more because I am so in need of Him as my Savior. I think it has helped me to be more aware… or to try to be more aware… of when I am being tempted with thinking a lie about God or someone else or whether that is truth; and if it is a lie, what is the truth.
The next few days helped me reflect on faith and trust through the eyes of Abraham and Mary. I have been taught Abraham is the Father of Faith. But the book really goes into depth on this fact. I always knew Mary trusted God, as well. But the books helped me to reflect more on how she trusted God in ways I hadn’t really thought about.
The next few days have walked through St. Therese’ spiritual life. It has talked about her belief in God’s mercy and how He is a merciful God. It also compares and contrasts God as a just God and God as a merciful God. I think it has always been easy for me to see God as a just God. I almost feel like that is how I grew up thinking about God more than as a merciful God. I know God is merciful — I have had a devotion to his Divine Mercy for a few years. But I think God is revealing how merciful He is to me even on a deeper level. I just want everyone to know how merciful God truly is, how good He is, how faithful He is, and how loving He is. I am just so grateful He is expressing this to me and teaching me even more so about Himself in these attributes.
I can’t wait to see what the next half of the book teaches me. 🙂
About a week and a half ago, Jennifer shared this video on Fr. Gaitley with me. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I am going to listen to it today. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.