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Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, stems from Jesus appearing to a young Polish nun, St. Faustina, just prior to World War II. She was canonized by another great Pole, Pope St. John Paul II, who established the Feast Day in 2001, and died during the vigil of the Feast in 2005. St. Faustina’s diary is long and deserves a reflective reading. This summary is adapted from EWTN.

 

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John Paul II Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday

From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930’s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition:
that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is limitless and open to all-especially the greatest sinners.

The message and devotion to Jesus as the Divine Mercy is based on the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, who wrote down in about 600 pages the revelations she received from him: My daughter, tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of my mercy. The soul who will go to Confession and receive Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. … Let no soul fear to draw near to me. … It is my desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of my Mercy. (Diary, no. 699)

It is a message called to mind by remembering ABC.

AAsk for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking His mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

B — Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

CCompletely trust in Jesus. God tells us that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

This devotion involves a total commitment to God as Mercy. It is a decision to trust completely in Him, to accept His mercy with thanksgiving, and to be merciful as He is merciful. The devotional practices are completely in accord with the teachings of the Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Properly understood and implemented, they will help us grow as genuine followers of Christ.

These devotional practices were given to us as "vessels of mercy" through which God's love can be poured out upon the world, but it's not enough for us to hang The Divine Mercy image in our homes, pray the Chaplet every day at 3:00, and receive Holy Communion on the first Sunday after Easter. We also must show mercy….Putting mercy into action is not an option, but a requirement! Our Lord strongly speaks about this to St. Faustina: I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it (Diary, 742).

This demand to show mercy to our neighbors can seem impossible.. But the Lord assures us it is possible. When a soul approaches Me with trust, He explains, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls" (Diary, 1074).

How do we "radiate" God's mercy to others? By our actions, our words, and our prayers. "In these three degrees," he tells Sister Faustina, "is contained the fullness of mercy" (Diary 742). We have all been called to this threefold practice of mercy, but not in the same way. We need to ask the Lord, who understands our individual personalities and situations, to help us recognize the ways we can each show His mercy in our daily lives. By asking for the Lord's mercy, trusting in His mercy, and sincerely trying to live His mercy in our lives, we can assure that we will never hear Him say of us, "Their hearts are far from Me," but rather that wonderful promise, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Jesus I Trust in You


National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Stockbridge, MA

In recent years, we’vd had a good number of occasions in which we’ve celebrated Divine Mercy in prayer, with guest speakers (most recently Sr. Gaudia), and with videos. A logical next step is an encouragement to take yourself, kids, grandkids, or friends to the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts – a place of natural and spiritual beauty. The shrine is on Eden Hill, just minutes from the center of Stockbridge (made famous by Norman Rockwell), and from Lenox, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Festival.

Find out more at http://www.thedivinemercy.org/shrine/

 

 

Heart, Soul and Mind

Monsignor Royal's weekly column as featured in our bulletin.


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