Summary of 33 Days to Merciful Love by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC

33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in 
Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy 
by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, Marian Press, 2016.

This book is a revealing of one the most powerful and best-kept secrets in the Catholic Church, St. Therese of Lisieux’s consecration to Divine Mercy.  Based on the theology of her “Offering to Merciful Love,” this consecration aims at making a complete self-offering to God for the specific purpose of glorifying God’s mercy.

Here are 3 key points that I learnt from reading this book:

1: “Keep Trusting”

Trust is an attitude of faith expressed by praising and thanking God for everything with a smile because we truly believe in God’s goodness. This is amazing. Think about it. Anything in your life that you are not praising and thanking God for… you are not trusting God in that area.

We must trust in God’s promise of mercy. Trust that God will make you into a great saint, even if you don’t see it happening, even if you struggle with the same sins day after day, even if you have to wait for the grace of great holiness until the very end of your life.

 

“Trust and trust alone shall lead us to love” ~ St. Therese

2: “Keep Trying”

Although our efforts in the spiritual life are absolutely useless because we are too little to ascend the heights of holiness by ourselves, they are also absolutely necessary because the more we try to grow in holiness and do little things with great love, the more our Lord will come to us out of His mercy and transform us into great saints.

Keep trying to grow in holiness every day. Keep going to Confession and make a firm resolution not to sin again. Keep trying to console Jesus’ Heart through the Offering to Merciful Love consecration prayer.

“Raise your little foot to scale the stairway of holiness” ~ St. Therese

“God requires you only to demonstrate your good will” ~ St. Therese

3: “Keep Loving”

 

We must love our littleness because Jesus is most attracted to the little ones.

“Because I was little and weak He lowered Himself to me, and He instructed me secretly in the things of His love” ~ St. Therese

“What pleases Him is that He sees me loving my littleness and my poverty… we must consent to remains always poor and without strength, and this is the difficulty… Ah! let us remain then very far from all the sparkles, let us love our littleness, let us love to feel nothing, then we shall be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come to look for us. He will transform us in flames of love” ~ St. Therese

Keep loving Jesus. Focus on Him. Console His wounded Heart. He longs to pour out His rejected mercy on souls. The more you love God, the more you will realize that He loves you so much more than you love Him. This will humble you in a truly profound and blessed way. This will lead you to be like St. Therese, whose aim was to love God with His own perfect love:

“For me to love You as You love me, I would have to borrow Your own love” ~ St. Therese

Keep loving others too. “To live the Little Way, we must be merciful to others” (82). Keep doing small things with great love. Have extraordinary love in ordinary things!

These 3 points – keep trusting, keep trying, keep loving – are all expressed beautifully in St. Therese’s Offering to Merciful Love (Click here to read the Offering to Merciful Love with a commentary).

 

Comments

  1. Great series of books by Fr. Gaitley. Thanks for posting the summary.

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