Divine Mercy

Today I would like to post the first of several posts in the devotion to the Divine Mercy. The special Novena begins on Good Friday and leads to the Feast on the second Sunday after Easter. How the world is in need of Mercy! I will also post the Novena and the Chaplet later on. I pray this Chaplet daily–for the sick and dying, for the souls in purgatory and for those in need of conversion (especially those dear to me–and myself!).
Ave Maria!

Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion

From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. 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
unlimited and available to everyone — especially the
greatest sinners.
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy
is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an
uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual
director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the
revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before
her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had
begun to spread.

The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that
His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon
Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to
others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message
we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

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

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

C — Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know
that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our
trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will

The Divine Mercy Devotion

Devotion to The Divine Mercy 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.

Merciful Heart

There are two scriptural verses that we should keep in mind
as we involve ourselves in these devotional practices:

  1. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are
    far from me” (Is 29:13);

  2. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt

When we look at the image of the Merciful Savior, or pause
for prayer at three o’clock, or pray the Chaplet — are these
things drawing us closer to the real sacramental life of the
Church and allowing Jesus to transform our hearts? Or have
they just become religious habits? In our daily lives are we
growing more and more as people of mercy? Or are we just
giving “lip service” to God’s mercy?

Living the Message of Mercy

The devotional practices revealed through Saint Faustina
were given to us as “vessels of mercy” through which God’s
love can be poured out upon the world, but they are not
sufficient unto themselves. It’s not enough for us to hang The
Divine Mercy image in our homes, pray the Chaplet every
day at three o’clock, and receive Holy Communion on the
first Sunday after Easter. We also have to show mercy to our
neighbors. Putting mercy into action is not an option of the
Divine Mercy Devotion; it’s a requirement!

Our Lord strongly speaks about this to Saint
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).

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 we are not all called in the same way. We need to
ask the Lord, who understands our individual personalities
and situation, to help us recognize the various 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.”

This is a wonderful article.

Ave Maria! Ecce Mater Tua!

You might want to be seated for this: Pope John Paul died on a feast that the Lord Jesus said would be the “last hope of salvation”. The Pope died on the vigil of a feast that he himself established in the Jubilee Year 2000 to fulfill what he called “the will of Christ”. Pope John Paul named the new feast “Divine Mercy Sunday."

The Pope knew as soon as he was named as the Vicar of Christ in 1978 that God had entrusted him with the special mission of preparing the world for the Second Coming of Christ. His first words “Be not afraid” must have been sent from above to ease the fears of the people of the world who would face an ever increasing and overwhelming power of evil that is foretold many times in the Book of Revelation.

Jesus Himself selected His two messengers that would help Him to prepare the world for His Final Coming. The first was a Polish nun named Maria Faustina, whom the Lord called His secretary and apostle of Divine Mercy. The second was a special man named Karol Wojtyla, who would later become Pope John Paul II.

Many believe the Polish Pope to be the “spark from Poland” that Jesus told Saint Faustina would “prepare the world for My final coming”. Faustina was instructed by Jesus to record all of His words to her in a diary that has since been published all over the world. The name of that diary is called “Divine Mercy in My Soul."

Pope John Paul was exposed, at an early age, to the words of Jesus given to Saint Faustina when he was studying for the priesthood in an underground seminary during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. By God’s Divine Providence, the chapel, now made famous since Faustina was declared a saint, lay directly between the seminary and the labor camp where he worked to survive.

He would stop and pray there and he became knowledgeable of the contents of her diary. Decades later as the Pope recuperated in his hospital room after being shot, on May 13th 1981, he had the entire diary reread to him. Later that year while at the Shrine of Merciful Love he stated “Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I considered this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God.”

Five years later, he would die on that feast. Everyone present with the Pope in his final moments celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy, which Jesus promised would bring the total forgiveness of sins and punishment. Jesus made this promise with certain conditions; one must go to Confession and then receive Holy Communion on that Feast of Mercy. The Pope received those sacraments just before he died.

It was said that John Paul confessed daily, many times to brand new priests. And why not? Jesus told Faustina that He Himself is there in the confessional and the Pope believed that. The Lord said “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.”

Just after the abuse scandal, Pope John Paul II issued what is called a plenary indulgence for that feast. To put it simply, the plenary indulgence re-affirmed the promises of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and punishment requiring the same sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion. The most amazing contribution in the decree establishing the indulgence was the instructions for all priests to tell everyone about the promises of the total forgiveness of sins and punishment.
Jesus requested that the Feast of Mercy be placed on the Sunday after Easter and that is exactly where the Church put it. Jesus also requested that Faustina have an image painted of Him just as He had first appeared to her with red and pale rays bursting out from His heart to represent the and Water that gushed out from His heart on the cross. He told her to write on it the words “Jesus, I trust in You."

Pope John Paul had prepared a short homily from his bed that was to be read on Divine Mercy Sunday. It was indeed read, not by him, but by a Vatican official on that day after the Mass at St. Peter’s for the eternal repose of Pope John Paul II.

It was an urgent plea for a greater understanding of Divine Mercy and was read as follows: As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!

Robert R. Allard, Director, www.DivineMercySunday.com

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