April 5, 2013
Divine Mercy Sunday - April 7: Confessions from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Last week the Church entered the Triduum as we reflected on the Last Supper, Jesus' carrying of the cross and crucifixion. By the Easter Vigil, our praises echoed as the light of Christ illuminated from within the church and our hearts. Easter is a season when we celebrate our Lord's victory over death and our salvation. His love and mercy poured out for us as He conquered the cross.
O Jesus, do not hide from me, for I cannot live without You. Listen to the cry of my soul. Your mercy has not been exhausted, Lord, so have pity on my misery. Your mercy surpasses the understanding of all Angels and people put together, and so, although it seems to me that you do not hear me, I put my trust in the ocean of your mercy, and I know that my hope will not be deceived. - Saint Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul
Divine Mercy Sunday comes one week after Easter Sunday and reminds us of God's infinite mercy. The teaching of God's mercy is nothing new as it has been visible through Scripture and Church traditions; however, the Divine Mercy devotion helps call us to a deeper understanding of God's unlimited love, available to everyone, especially the greatest sinners. This devotion, understanding and day all spring from a young nun's encounters with Jesus Christ.
May the light of Christ rise in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
The History: In the 1930's, a Polish nun named Sister Maria Faustina, received private revelations concerning Divine Mercy. She recorded these revelations in her diary by request of her spiritual director.
From her writings, we learn of the revelations and messages that Jesus was giving Faustina to share with the world. We also learn of a scared image and prayer for helping us to remember God's mercy.
This was precisely the time when those ideologies of evil, nazism and communism, were taking shape. Sister Faustina became the herald of the one message capable of off-setting the evil of those ideologies, that fact that God is mercy—the truth of the merciful Christ. - Blessed Pope John Paul II, Memory and Identity
"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus." - St. Faustina
The Image: Jesus also appeared to Faustina in a vision. His right hand was raised and His left hand was placed upon His heart. Rays in the colors red and white flowed from his heart as a symbol of the blood and water that was poured out for our salvation. The Lord asked that his image be painted with "Jesus, I trust in You," inscribed underneath him. See the image below.
The Chaplet: The Divine Mercy Chaplet was also given to Faustina with the instruction to encourage others to say the chaplet and that, "whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Even if they were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy." (Diary, no. 687) See the entire Chaplet below.
Even before Faustina's death in 1938, the message of Divine Mercy and the devotion had begun to spread. In 2000, and only five days after the canonization of Saint Faustina, the Vatican announced that the Second Sunday of Easter would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
Be sure to keep the light of Christ flowing throughout the Easter Season. Reignite the celebration if it has softened after your Easter Sunday meal. This is a season for celebrating God's love and mercy, and one of the ways we can do so is by celebrating on Divine Mercy Sunday and with the chaplet.
Learn more on USCCB.org
The Divine Mercy Chaplet:
Steps for praying:
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross
2. Our Father
3. Hail Mary
4. The Apostles Creed
5. Eternal Father, I offer You
the Body and Blood, Soul and
Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.
6. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (repeat 10 times)
(Repeat step 5 and 6 five times)
7. Holy God, Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One, have mercy
on us and on the whole world. (repeat 3 times)
Using a rosary:
1. Cross on the rosary
2. First bead
3. Second bead
4. Third bead
5. The "Our Father" beads before each decade
6. Each "Hail Mary" bead in each decade
(Repeat for all decades)
7. Using the icon bead