Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Devotion for today: Divine Mercy for the dying

Today we continue our look at Divine Mercy, especially for dying souls.

Scripture for meditation: 2 Maccabees 12:42-46
Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this, he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

Scripture for reflection: John 11:26, 41-43
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die.”

Blessed John Paul II tells us: Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection experienced in a radical way mercy shown to Himself – that is to say, the love of the Father, which is more powerful than death. And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who at the end of His messianic mission – reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love that, in a subsequent perspective of the history of salvation in the Church, is to be everlastingly confirmed as more powerful that sin. The paschal Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy. … In the same spirit, the liturgy of Eastertide places on our lips the words of the psalm: ‘Misericordia Domini in aeternum cantabo.’   ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever!’ (no.8) (Divine Mercy: A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI, Robert Stackpole, STD, Marian Press, 2010)

Christ revealed to St. Faustina concerning dying souls: Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy (687). The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death (754). At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son (810).

St. Faustina writes: My daughter, help Me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him. When I began the say the chaplet, I saw the man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle. His Guardian Angel was defending him, but he was, as it were, powerless against the enormity of the soul’s misery. A multitude of devils was waiting for the soul. But while I was saying the chaplet, I saw Jesus just as He is depicted in the image. The rays which issued from Jesus’ Heart enveloped the sick man, and the powers of darkness fled in panic. The sick man peacefully breathed his last. When I came to myself, I understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying. It appeases the anger of God (1565, The Diary of St. Faustina).

My thoughts: Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. I am not worried about anything, and I have had a good day. A trusted spiritual advisor told me that God is calling me at that hour to pray for a dying soul. Certain people are selected at certain times, like St. Faustina, to pray the Chaplet for a soul dying in agony. We probably will never have the visions afforded St. Faustina, but when we die, God will show us the souls for whom we prayed. Pray the Chaplet for the dying at the bedside of the sick, in spirit for someone whom you know is dying, and in the middle of the night, when God awakens you to pray. We are, after all, the prayer warriors of the merciful God!

The Divine Mercy Novena
Sixth Day: Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

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