“According to the Roman epic poet Virgil, the Trojans were defeated after the Greeks left behind a large wooden horse and pretended to sail for home. Unbeknown to the Trojans, the wooden horse was filled with Greek warriors. They sacked Troy after the Trojans brought the horse inside the city walls.” So states the entry on the Trojan War according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. An encyclopedia was a series of volumes filled with information on virtually any topic you would want to know more about, plus many more you couldn’t care less about. If you were lucky, your parents could afford a set so you could have the pleasure of spending idle hours endlessly poring over the pages (check out those color plates!). If not, the local Public Library was sure to have a set for your bookish interests. That’s for those of you who think, live, and breath on the Internet.
Today is what we Catholics call ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’ On April 30, 2000, Pope St. John Paul II – affectionately known as ‘JP2’ by those of us who have special devotion to him (and that’s millions of folks!) – canonized Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, meaning she was thereafter recognized as a Saint, but he also instituted the observance of the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. You can read her beautiful story here: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/stfaustina/bio. It’s well worth your time to read; I guarantee it. St. Faustina, over a period of years wrote what has come to be known as Divine Mercy In My Soul – revelations of her experiences, visions, plus many instructions from Jesus to her. I’ve read it. In fact, it was a key factor in propelling me back into the Catholic Church in 2012. You can order a copy here: https://paulinestore.com/. Jesus appeared to St. Faustina in 1931, telling her to have a portrait painted of Himself, including details as to how He should look and even the words on the bottom:
St. Faustina died in 1938 of tuberculosis. Being stricken with the same disease when I was 2, I quickly became very devoted to her. St. Faustina, pray for us!
What does Faustina and Divine Mercy have to do with the mythological tale of the Trojan Horse?
God’s mercy is His Trojan Horse, and our souls are the cities he seeks to conquer. You see, when God wants to “defeat” a person, He transforms them from servants to sin into His own dear children. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonian Church wrote “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness” (chapter 5, v.5).
There was a time in my life when I was not too impressed with this highlighting of God’s mercy, not realizing then that the Trojan Horse of His mercy was, and is, God’s secret weapon. We can go on with our lives without a care, not paying any attention to that “contraption” sitting right outside the perimeter of our consciousness, but it is there; every day, every night.
The power of God’s mercy lies in how it is regarded as paltry and taken for granted, but the overflow of His mercy awaits our willingness to let it flood our horizons. At Mass, our priest quoted part of Faustina’s Diary in his homily. What he called the most powerful truth in it, I share with you now: “There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy” (Diary 1273).
However deep the pit you’re in, the mercy of God is deeper and more vast. Whatever your regrets, recriminations, or doubts, the Divine Mercy of God in Jesus Christ is a deep ocean of relief and warmth that can and will flood your soul with light.
No sword lies in the hands of the warrior we know as Jesus, the Son of God. But you will find the marks of the nails – evidence of what mercy genuinely looks like.