The famed Redemptorist priest and saint, Alphonsus Liguori, once said, “He who trusts in himself is lost but he who trusts in God can do all things.” These words certainly apply to the Disciples of Mercy who have witnessed tremendous growth from just four members who convened shortly after the messages began in 1994. Disciples now are numbered in several continents (North America, South America, and Africa). This truly attests to the awesome power of Divine Providence for when the Lord requested that we bring his “words to the four corners” of the earth on October 21, 1995, we were at a loss as to just how this could possibly be done. Though we we had increased to about a dozen, our means were very modest and skills limited. Lori inquired as to how this herculean task might be done? The Lord Jesus responded, “You are not to worry, I will send you the people.” Faithful to his word, he sent those generous souls whom his messages struck a responsive chord and, unlike the story of the rich young man who went away because he counted cost of discipleship to Jesus, these souls responded with an enthusiastic “yes”, regardless of the price. Were it not for their generosity, we would never have arrived at this great milestone—the publication of Volume III of The Heart of God. Following the exhortation of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:20: “In all things give thanks,” it is most appropriate that our gratitude be expressed at this time to all those who have played a significant role in our growth and success.
Understandably, “to God goes the glory” (Rom 11:36). Jesus once said in The Heart of God that “when the soul acknowledges its inability to function without my help then the soul offers gratitude to me, the Lord God” (8/6/95).1 Truly, the Disciples humbly acknowledge their total dependence upon Jesus and our Mother Mary in whom lies the authorship of the messages and the ultimate success of our mission. The Lord had bestowed the Blessed Mother under the title of our Mother of Mercy, Mother of the Sick, to be our patroness, and the Conventual Franciscan, St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe was appointed our patron. Often, the function of patroness and patron is not merely to be intercessors for the group but also to be persons to emulate. The Lord’s wisdom is uncanny, since as Disciples of Mercy whom could we better emulate than the Mother of Mercy who loves us sinners despite our harsh and cruel torments of her Son (8/23/95)? Fr. Kolbe’s appointment likewise is very appropriate for the Disciples to imitate, not only in the practice of his sanctity and devotion to the Immaculata but also in the use of mass communication at which he excelled in spreading the gospel. May his intercession guide us in the manner of choosing the most appropriate and effective means to communicate the messages in The Heart of God to the “four corners” of the earth.
Besides conferring his Mother and Fr. Kolbe, the Lord has sent an angel to assist the Disciples of Mercy, Angel Stephen. This angel’s image is displayed upon the front cover of all three volumes. We are indebted to Angel Stephen for safeguarding the messages and exercising special protection from the assaults of the evil one who is always trying to subvert the efforts in our “mission to guide others to [the] Sacred Heart [of Jesus] and to the Immaculate Heart [of his] Mother” (5/11/96). We also have been entrusted by the Lord to Padre Pio, whom we anticipate will be duly honored for his saintliness by his beatification and ultimate canonization within the next few years. Lori especially felt close to this “saintly ” person and we confidently trust in his promise to all his devotees to “wait outside the gates of Heaven until all his spiritual children are safely inside.” He undoubtedly welcomed Lori into the heavenly abode of the Church triumphant. Hence, we believe it is not mere happenstance that Lori passed away on the very anniversary of his own death twenty-eight years earlier. The Lord phrased such occurrences as this one so very well: “There are no coincidences in your Father’s Kingdom. Everything is carefully planned, and every plan is carefully executed by the Divine Will” (6/23/96).