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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Music of Divine Mercy

Hidden in the mystery of my neighbor's greeting is a stream of divine music that resounds with tenderness and that rings with goodness. The sacredness of human life is validated when I recognize its call and empathize with its heart piercing dynamism. Under the enchantment of this tolling theme, the individual is not ever an accidental and isolated note, but a delicate part of a divinely purposed chord in which we are all caught up. In this resonance of life and truth, our very core reverberates if we let it. In the silence of my neighbor's glance, a symphony is ready to break forth as if for the first time—when and only when I learn to listen. Just as all true music expresses stirrings in the heart that time cannot contain, the wonder of this particular neighbor before me is the object of Divine jubilation—an exquisite expression of joy so serious that the whole reality of heaven and hell weighs in this moment of encounter. Even a chance meeting bears this existential weight. This is because these moments have height and depth. At a moment's precipice, eternity can break in with its thunderclap of meaning. Hardly a word exchanged, the silence binds souls together. Or else, with the wrong word, what was to be a moment of grace devolves by neglect or indifference into lifeless banality. Yet, this risk on which God pauses is what makes His music so beautiful. This particular person whose path I have crossed is for God a new turn, a surprising twist in a never heard before symphony, an irreplaceable part of a whole that I too am caught up in. A melody from above this world waits to catch us off guard if only we will bring this encounter into tune with its subtle movements. Yes, divine harmonies play out in the real life concrete historical choices we make. They are heard not by escaping or surmounting life, but plunging into it with an attentive heart, with a living faith, with humble vulnerability, with the readiness to do something beautiful for God. The eternal hymn that could resound requires a harmony in which both word and silence be raised to love and by love and for love. If earthly music resonates in the connection of rhythm and sound with the heart, this heavenly canticle relies on the Holy Spirit stirring our hearts, liberating our wills. With a gentle touch He tunes us. He restores the right relation of encounter and recognition, empathy and truth, forgiveness and reconciliation. In these ways, the Spirit of Love fills the silent emptiness of human misery with melodies of Divine Mercy, setting a limit to evil to make space for a new love to be born—if only, in this moment, especially this difficult moment, we will offer our "fiat."

The life giving presence of the Holy Spirit is why whenever any soul cries out to God for help, the Father never sees anything other than His own embodied image and likeness, and hears only the voice that the Son has joined to His own. Within the space of a humble prayer, with great respect for our liberty, the Trinity tenderly embraces us like delicate musical instruments, patiently waiting for us to sanction the immense and subtle movement of Infinite Love that the Divine Persons desire to unleash. The music of God's Heart is ready to forgive and to help us forgive, to plant new hope and to help us bring hope to others. Love's own melodious fullness is ready, ready to sound a new and unvanquished beginning to what we thought to be destroyed. The Trinity waits for us, on our side, on the side of humanity, as the One God who longs to see each man and woman thrive in a new solidarity of life and love. Through the movements we allow the Trinity to raise in our souls, God's very presence resounds by a knowledge and love too great for this life to contain. On this Divine Hymn of Mercy, the story of our humanity finds sure footing, ground firm enough to hold its weight as the music of its frail prayer echoes on earth as it is in heaven.

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