In the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska when speaking of the image of Divine Mercy, Jesus tells her, “My image already is in your soul.” (Diary 49) The image of God was present in man from the beginning when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” (Gen. 1:26) and as the author relates, “In the divine image He created him.” (Gen. 1:27) Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that “The divine image is present in every man.” (1702)
The Catechism explains that the divine image of God manifests itself in our souls, “…he is most especially in God’s image: [in the] “soul” [which] signifies the spiritual principle in man.” (363) and furthermore, “The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: [as] it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul,…” (364) Similarly, St Faustina writes at the beginning of her diary, “May praise and glory for this Image never cease to stream from man’s soul.” (1)
The divine image of God is not just in the body and soul, but also in the person’s will, intellect, and freedom, “By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an ‘outstanding manifestation of the divine image.'” (CCC 1705) The Vatican II document Gaudium Et Spes also concurs, “For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. (17) Understanding that the divine image of God is present in each person, St. Faustina helps anyone who comes to the door, “I love all people because I see the image of God in them.” (Diary 373)
The divine image of God was distorted when Adam and Eve committed original sin. In God’s mercy, the divine image of God in our souls has been repaired and healed to its full loveliness. This occurred when Jesus died for us on the cross making us adopted sons and daughters of God. Or, as the Catechism explains, “the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.” (1701) More specifically the divine image of God in each of us is restored at the “sacrament of regeneration” (CCC 1213) as the Rite of Baptism explains, “May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with Him to newness of life.” (Rom 6:3-4; cf. Col 2:12)
St. Faustina’s spiritual director Blessed Michael Sopocko discerns that the “real” image of Divine Mercy is in her soul, and says, “Certainly, paint God’s image in your soul.” (Diary 49) The future Pope Benedict XVI says something similar about painting the interior vision, “The sacredness of the image consists precisely in the fact that it comes from an interior vision and thus leads us to such an interior vision.” (Spirit of the Liturgy) In other words, St. Faustina has a new kind of seeing in which she perceives the mystery of the Invisible God become visible. She is able to see the that we bear within us the image and message of the Resurrection through the “real” image of divine mercy. The “real” image of divine mercy reminds us that, “The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ.” (CCC 638)
Finally, as mankind searches for love and identity through engraved tattoos, body piercings, and gender changes, “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,” (Eph.1:18) that “we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph.2:10) The “real” image of divine mercy in our souls reminds us of our true dignity, and through it He lets us know that He loves us and claims us as His own as when a child is born with a precious family birth mark. More importantly, “The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful,” (CCC 655) so we are to always see His “real” image of divine mercy in everyone as St. Faustina writes, “O God, give me a deeper faith that I may always see in every sister Your Holy Image which has been engraved in her soul.” (Diary 1522) ST. FAUSTINA PRAY FOR US.