The good Lord sent him at just the right time, which should come as no surprise. This was during the Marian year of 1987-1988. At that Summer School we had not only the biggest attendance to that date, but also a very high caliber of attendees who were far from being newbies to the spiritual life. After that year, Emmanuel in Brisbane started their own local version of P.T.S, and I think Hephzibah in Canberra did too.
Unfortunately I seem to have only started taking detailed Summer School notes from 1989 onwards. So I can only share what my memory has retained. Fr George Kosicki showed us a powerful image on an overhead projector, and then explained that God the Father sees us through the wounds of His Son Jesus. Through those wounds we can draw down His love and mercy towards us. We had the privilege of listening to this holy priest who had both studied and lived out the messages of Divine Mercy in his own life.
Explaining to us that we can only receive mercy if we give mercy, Fr George challenged each one present to go out of their way in treating each other with mercy. He promised us that the more mercy we showed to each other, the more mercy we would receive. And so it was. He was only with us for about 2-3 days of the 14 days, but he left a huge impact. Everyone took up that challenge, and the atmosphere of the place became charged with grace. The works that the good Lord did in our souls at that time were the biggest that I had seen to date, and have yet in my experience to be surpassed.
Why do I share this now? Because I think in microcosm we experienced then what the good God and Pope Francis want the whole Church to experience during this Year of Mercy.
When our parish group studied parts of the Catechism during the Year of Faith, I came to understand this afresh. If we close off our hearts to any person (in anger, indifference, bitterness, resentment, unwillingness to forgive) then that same part of our hearts we close off to God. If we open up our hearts to any person (in love, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, generosity) then we open that same part of our hearts to God, and His grace can flow through that area of our hearts to others.
My son's illustration of CCC 2840 explains it better:
Everything comes back to the source of Mercy, Jesus and the wounds He suffered and endured for us. To be the conduits of Mercy that He wants us to be, we have to firstly touch and draw from those Holy Wounds through prayer and the sacraments. Secondly we need to go out of our way to be merciful to others, and to be innovative and creative in finding ways of being of loving assistance to others. We need to do both.
How will you take up the challenge?
Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us
St Faustina, pray for us
St John Paul II, pray for us
Fr George Kosicki, pray for us