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Polish History and Divine Mercy and Fun Reading, Oh My!

February 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Mercy, Sarah Reinhard

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The Second Greatest Story Ever Told (Week 3 of 8)

How do Polish history and Divine Mercy tie in with fun reading? Well, I never thought I'd find it, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Fr. Gaitley.

Given that I have complained and bemoaned nearly every book I've read here, probably to the detriment of everyone who reads along with us (please forgive me, dear patient readers!), I want to say this: I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN.

Yes, you read that right. I have already finished this book, in a flurry of reading that had me up late and reading in the car between basketball tournaments.

Today's chapters give us a dose of Polish history and the kickoff of this great story Fr. Gaitley has to share.

I'm having a terrible time finding an excerpt-able part of these chapters because they all tie together so tightly. I'm going to break with the usual format this week as a result of that and not share an excerpt.

Reading about the many great moments of Polish history made me smile and get chills: I'm not Polish, but some of my best saintly friends are, including Pope Saint John Paul II (a patron I've adopted) and Saint Faustina (who is my daughter's patron). I've also been a long-time devotee of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and devotion: my husband (he who does NOT read for fun) got me curious when he read St. Faustina's diary and casually mentioned that I should check it out.

“But what do you meditate on when you're praying the Chaplet?” I asked him at one point, trying to reconcile the speedy feel of the Chaplet with my experience of the rosary and the mysteries.

He didn't say “DUH!” (and that's just one of the many reasons why he's a keeper), but he did give me a Look. “God's MERCY, Sarah. God's MERCY.”

Which I have always found easier said than done. Mercy sounds nice and it even looks nice on paper. But in reality, mercy is hard.

I didn't realize just how hard until I had kids. Not only do I find myself looking over my past with a different eye, knowing I need to give mercy in various ways and to many people, but I have also had the humbling understanding that I'm going to be on the receiving end of a lot more mercy before I'm through.

Mercy really is a message for our time, but I can speak most from my own experience of brokenness and pain. In the shards that have torn through me, it has been the mercy of others, and especially God, that has saved me from…I don't even know. I don't even think I want to know.

Reading through today's chapters made me realize just what a gift we have in the Divine Mercy message and in St. Faustina's writings. And it made me smile: only God could set things up so perfectly, with such unlikely people.

It's proof that there's hope for all of us! 🙂

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 5-6

Discussion Questions:

1. What about the message of Divine Mercy most resonates with you?

2. As you read about the amazing moments in Polish history, how were you inspired or moved? What reaction did you have?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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