To be human is to be wounded. Our very nature is wounded by original sin which darkens our intellect, weakens our will, and disrupts the unity between spirit and flesh. We are wounded by sin, the sin of others—we have father wounds, mother wounds, spousal wounds; we are wounded by our own children, by others through their personal sins, crimes, and utter selfishness. We are wounded by our own sins, progressively wounded through repeated, unrepented personal sin. But Jesus was wounded for us, for our broken societies, broken families, broken hearts; “by His stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5]
How can we be healed? To be baptized is to receive His promise, but never are we completely free of the effects of original sin and personal sin, which are ongoing, always, at some level. Into our wounds Satan plants his lies, his infestations: “You are abandoned, unloved, unlovely, inadequate, unworthy, unwanted, useless, stupid, etc.” Sprouting up in this unholy soil come the sins and disordered tendencies: anger, resentment, pride, self-indulgence, the obsession to control, the fear of intimacy, multi-layered duplicity—the lies we tell ourselves and others. The lies we live.
All the lies of Satan, the infestations of the wounds need to be cleaned out…and where are the wounds, exactly, but in our hearts? Regardless of the kind of wound, it is always a deep hole in the heart; and what an effort it is always to go down in there, digging out from their very roots the many layers which have built up over the years, to choose transparency instead of duplicity, to choose meekness instead of intimidation and control, to choose forgiveness instead of resentment and anger. This indeed is the test: Not to run away, but to dig deep, to penetrate the wound, always to do what is most difficult. To bring all the ugly brokenness, the mess and trash of your heart to Christ. He is waiting for it. [See Ch. 3-A-3, “By His Wounds You are Healed,” SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]
See in this deep hole in your psyche, this piercing of your heart, the perfect chalice, a cup to receive the tears and blood of your crucified Lord, the flood of Divine Mercy that has nowhere else to go unless a wounded heart is there to receive it. We have nothing else to offer but our wounds, so let us struggle daily to discover them, to penetrate them, to clean them out with our penitence, our own tears, and to offer them to be filled with His Love, His Mercy, the perfect sacrifice of praise.
The deep, clean wound is the chalice of your martyred heart—filled with God’s mercy for the multitudes. The wound must be attended, must be cleaned out because it is the deep, clean wound that is the chalice; and unless it is emptied out in kenosis, utterly cleaned out, how can it be filled with the Precious Blood and Tears, the Mercy of God to overflow onto our territory of souls? The chalice is our deeply wounded heart, emptied out and filled, overflowing with the Divine Mercy.
When we have touched the very pit of the wound in our heart, we touch the pain. It is through our pain that we share and become one with the pain and suffering of Christ. Live your woundedness, live your pain again in the pierced Heart of Christ the Victim. See on the altar that chalice, your martyred heart, pierced like His, pierced with His, and offered to the Father for the Church, for the salvation of souls. Find here the central joy of your life.
Pray to be transformed into a living chalice filled with the blood, the tears, the Divine Mercy that you collect through the prayers, sacrifices, and union of your life with Christ, a chalice spilling over onto your territory of souls, all the precious souls whose lives touch your life.
In the Diary of St. Faustina, Jesus tells her: “I am the best of Fathers to them and…it is for them [poor sinners] that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy….I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept.” [#367]
As we open our hearts in vulnerability, which is powerlessness, openness, and receptivity, to take these graces, the Mercy rushes like a flood into the full depth of our woundedness. As we suffer with Him, the Hidden Force of His Mercy grows in power as a flood grows when the gates of a dam are opened. Just as His Mercy flows into us in the blood and water gushing from His pierced Heart, so the Mercy gushes from our pierced hearts to the souls around us.
We are transformed into living chalices according to our individual capacity, understanding, willingness, and commitment—or as Jesus explains to St. Faustina, “My Heart finds disappointment; I do not find complete surrender to My love. So many reservations, so much distrust, so much caution.” [#367] It is only the wounded heart made vulnerable, open, powerless, and receptive to Him that becomes the living chalice. [see “Living Chalices,” 3-C-7, SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]
As the open wound in His Heart makes Him vulnerable, so the open wound in our heart makes us vulnerable as well. Are you willing to keep the wound open and clean, to suffer with Him, to be more deeply pierced, to be continually opened wider to Him? The deeper the piercing, the deeper the flow of Blood & Water, Love & Mercy—the greater the power of the Hidden Force to cleanse, heal, and save. [See “Our Ordinary Life is a Hidden Force,” 3-C-4, SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love]
Even the ordinary little sufferings and sacrifices of daily life from which flows the Hidden Force, are made powerful because they are borne by a wounded heart such as this. Their power emerges from the depth of the pierced heart insofar as that heart is united to the pierced Heart of Christ the Victim. Nothing small, insignificant, or weak rises from the depths of such a heart.
From the abandonment of the wounded heart deepened in total vulnerability, openness, and union with Christ the Victim, in little souls such as St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. Faustina—and in us, the Hidden Force rushes with power to save.
Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, transform me, O Jesus, my Love Crucified, into a living chalice that I may be your companion in love.
I bring to Your flood of Mercy all the troubled disorders of my wounded heart. Cleanse and purify my brokenness; and fill my heart with your loving Mercy, so that I can suffer all with You, no longer two, but One, in Your sacrifice of love.
Grant that the Hidden Force of Your Mercy with which I live daily in my little acts of love and sacrifice, may rush from the chalice of my poor heart into the lives of my territory of souls to cleanse, to heal, and to save. AMEN.