Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club: Chapter 3


Welcome to the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club! We’re reading Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of Saint Faustina, by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet.

We need to extend mercy not only to others, but to ourselves. - Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club at CatholicMom.com

Have you ever felt like you just can’t do anything right in your spiritual life?

That’s definitely been me lately: I want to volunteer my time, but I’m too exhausted to get dinner on the table let alone spend a few hours outside the house on a weeknight. I want to embrace God’s will for my life, but I still find myself fighting to plan something “better than” what God might have in store.

So imagine my surprise when I pull open Chapter Three of Divine Mercy for Moms and find Emily sharing a far more embarrassing story of “generosity-gone-wrong” of her own. (If you need a hint, it’s her memorable, mid-highway shotgun burst of apples and yogurt).

Apparently it’s a completely human thing for our good intentions to be twisted into something less-than-perfect. But Faustina (and Emily) remind us that you can never “love too much…” even if the end result isn’t exactly what you had planned. Instead, we need to extend mercy to ourselves in combination with extending mercy to other people and try, try again.

When I fail day in and day out, it’s helpful now to know that I can always reset in three easy steps:

  1. Is there a deed of mercy I can give to someone in this situation?
  2. Is there a word of mercy I can give?
  3. Is there a prayer of mercy I can offer?

This list won’t always result in the big and flashy kind of generosity I want to give people — but it will always result in some form of small but merciful action. And it’s how those acts add up over the course of our lives that really counts.

If you struggle to forgive yourself for sins, remember the words Jesus gave to Faustina:

I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.

Wherever you are in your heart, whatever you’re struggling with in the face of mercy, remember that you can cover it all by showing these three kinds of mercy to others — no matter how you feel or how it turns out.

To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:

  1. Have you ever participated in a successful merciful deed like Emily’s cake story? Tell us in the comments below!
  2. Do you think the threefold plan for merciful action is something that you can incorporate into your daily life? If not, which of the three merciful actions do you find the most difficult to perform consistently?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week’s reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.

Download this week’s printable journal:

Next week, we’ll cover Chapter 4: The Corporal Works of Mercy. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club page.

We need to extend mercy not only to others, but to ourselves. - Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club at CatholicMom.com

Copyright 2016 Sarah Greesonbach


About Author

Sarah Greesonbach is a writer living in Virginia and a "recovering Catholic" turned Theology of the Body enthusiast (is that a thing yet?). After growing up pretty darn secular, she writes about rebuilding a Catholic view of sexuality, marriage, and pregnancy at Life [Comma] Etc.


  1. I just wanted to share a “mercy moment” I experienced this morning when this reading was fresh on my mind. I was having breakfast in a hotel and had to end up sitting at a group table because their were no empty tables. Feeling frumpy in my unwashed pony tail and yoga pants, I prayed that I could just eat and get out before anyone saw me. Then, my table companion struck up a conversation with me. Something in my heart told me to stop and listen, and before long she was pouring out a truly sad story. I had no idea how I could help her as she burst into tears. Her situation is really bad. So I simply asked her if we could pause and pray together, right there in the breakfast room. We did so, and then said our goodbyes. I don’t know if my tiny prayers can help her family, but I do know that the moment felt like the best thing I could possibly do to help her. Thank you for your post this week and the reminder to pause to offer mercy however we can.

  2. I find words of mercy the most difficult to offer. I’m proficient with the written word, but the spontaneous, spoken word – not so much. I hope that I’m getting better at is as I mature, but I often stumble over what to say to someone in need outside of my own family. Prayer and deeds come much easier to me.

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