Greetings! There is someone on another forum who is anti-Catholic. I answered another person’s question about Divine Mercy and included a link to a site which included a rather prominent Divine Mercy image. This someone made the comment about the image being “creepy”.
I don’t know where to go from here. Intellectual disputations I can fathom and allow for; yet seeing this image representing the love and mercy Christ has for us and her first reaction is “creepy”?
I guess I won’t be showing her any images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus…
That’s peculiar. Some devotional images I’ve seen might be perceived as creepy or weird, but very few are. Fortunately, the Divine Mercy is just a devotion and is not some sort of dogma of the Church that she doesn’t agree with.
Trust me, I think she’d disagree with it just because it was Catholic.
After posting my original message, it struck me that she probably grew up with the “empty cross-empty tomb-happy Jesus” Christianity. She might be *aware *of Jesus’ suffering, but has never spent time looking at images that bring that suffering out.
As a Catholic, though, I’ve grown up with a bloodied corpus on a crucifix; with the image of Jesus pulling aside His robe to show His Sacred Heart, pierced and crowned with thorns and burning with love for us; with the story of Veronica wiping the bloody face of Jesus. I’ve grown up with the stories of the martyrs all the way from grade school (where they just say, Saint So-and-so was imprisoned and tortured because she wouldn’t deny Jesus) all the way to high school (where they give the actual details of the tortures, i.e. “Saint So-and-so was tortured by tying weights to her breasts and adding weights until her breasts were ripped off her chest, but she still would not deny Jesus.”) There may be joy in the Cross but there is also pain, and I think Catholics have a greater awareness of that than do the Protestants.
It’s not just non-Catholics; I’ve heard Catholics say the same.
A lot of Catholic visuals **would **be creepy a priori. Hearts outside bodies and aflame. A man hanging by his limbs to bleed to death, or bound, blindfolded, or bleeding. Rings of sharp thorns tearing into a head.
The Divine Mercy is really rather mild as these things go, but we should work around such aversions in engaging with others. The Spaniards found an Indian tribe in western MX who feared the crucifix, because it resembled what their tribal enemies would do to them. They worked among them without using it.
When I was in middle school a Protestant girl actually laughed at the crucifix I wear and said, “It’s dead Jesus! But He’s risen! Why do you love dead Jesus???” So I know where you’re coming from :rolleyes:
The Divine Mercy Image shows the sacrifice that God made for us, and the abundant mercy he has for sinners, that even the greatest sinners can place trust in His Mercy. When I first saw this image, I wasn’t sure what the rays meant, but after I looked more into the background and history behind it, I fell in love, because I really needed Mercy.
This devotion is very similar to the Sacred Heart Devotion (behold the heart which has so loved men), and both convey a sense of God’s tender love for humanity, and someone who thinks it’s simply weird probably doesn’t know the history, and meaning of God’s great Mercy behind it. I have a prayer card of this image, with an excerpt from St. Faustina’s Diary, which add great meaning to it.
The original image has been found in Poland. It
s pretty different.
You and your friend should check out the documentary about this.
I think it would be a great way to discuss it without rancor, and it’s a fascinating story.
Trivia: a lot of Eugeniusz Kazimirowski’s paintings were lost during World War II. (Some examples of his other art include this and this and this and this.) The Divine Mercy image was one of the few that survived.