A Special Promise of Mercy from our Lord.
"I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy" (1109).
"Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (300).
"The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (699).
Our Lord's promise to grant complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on the Feast of Mercy is recorded three times in the Diary of Saint Faustina, each time in a slightly different way:
Our Lord is emphasizing, through this promise, the infinite value of Confession and Communion as miracles of mercy. He wants us to realize that since the Eucharist is His own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, it is the "Fountain of Life" (300). The Eucharist is Jesus, Himself, the Living God, longing to pour Himself as Mercy into our hearts.
Why would Our Lord feel the need to emphasize this? Because so many people do not really understand it. They either see no need to receive Holy Communion, or they receive it simply out of habit. As St. Paul explains in his letter to the Corinthians, they eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, "without recognizing the body of the Lord" (I Cor 11:27-29).
In His revelations to Saint Faustina Our Lord makes it very clear what He is offering us in Holy Communion and how much it hurts Him when we treat His presence with indifference:
"My great delight is to unite Myself with souls ... When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object" (1385) ...
"It pains Me very much when religious souls receive the Sacrament of Love merely out of habit, as if they did not distinguish this food. I rind neither faith nor love in their hearts. I go to such souls with great reluctance. It would be better if they did not receive Me" (1288) ...
"How painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of My pain imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love" (1447).
So, Our Lord's promise of complete forgiveness is both a reminder and a call. It is a reminder that He is truly present and truly alive in the Eucharist, filled with love for us and waiting for us to turn to Him with trust. And it is a call for us all to be washed clean in His Love through Confession and Holy Communion - no matter how terrible our sins - and begin our lives again. He is offering us a new start.
Prepare Yourself Properly
Going to Confession is not the only way we should prepare ourselves for Divine Mercy Sunday. As Cardinal Francis Macharski, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland explains in a 1985 pastoral letter, we are not simply called to ask for God's mercy with trust. We are also called to be merciful:
"Our own merciful attitude is likewise a preparation. Without deeds of mercy our devotion would not be real. For Christ does not only reveal the mercy of God, but at the same time He places before people the demand that they conduct themselves in life with love and mercy. The Holy Father states that this requirement constitutes the very heart of the Gospel ethos (Rich in Mercy, 3) - it is the commandment of love and the promise: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy' (Mt 5:7). Let it be a mercy that is forgiving and true, and universal, with good words, deeds, and prayer for others!"
Our Lord's words to Saint Faustina about this requirement to be merciful are very strong and leave no room for misinterpretation:
"Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy ... I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it" (742).