Saturday, April 14, 2012

Devotion for today: aspects of Divine Mercy

Aspect One: God is merciful to sinners.

 Scripture for reflection: Matthew 7:7
 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

St. Faustina says: All grace flows from mercy … even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary: that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest (Diary, 1507)

Christ says: Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy…. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask (Diary, 1146).
Aspect Two: The Divine Mercy message is a forwarning of Christ’s second coming on earth.

Scripture for reflection: Mark 13:9
“But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.”

Christ tells St. Faustina: Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice … You will prepare the world for My final coming (Diary 848 and 429). Write this: Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day (Diary 83)

Aspect Three: Mercy given to us is to be shared.

Scripture for reflection: Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Christ tells St. Faustina: I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for me (Diary 742).

Aspect Four: Divine Mercy is a message for our time.

Robert Stackpole, STD, tells us in his book Divine Mercy: a Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI, Marian Press, 2010: Why did Pope John Paul II so strongly recommend that we pay heed to The Divine Mercy message and devotion – even to the Image and the Chaplet – given to the world through St. Faustina? … he saw them as prophetic revelations. In other words, he saw them as revelations given to us by God to proclaim the heart of the Gospel – the Gospel of the merciful love of God, shining through the Death and Resurrection of His son – in a way…to meet the needs of our era....  On April 10, 1994, on…Mercy Sunday, Pope John Paul II stated in his Regina Caeli address:” Who can say he is free from sin and does not need God’s mercy? As people of this restless time of ours, wavering between the emptiness of self-exaltation and the humiliation of despair, we have a greater need than ever for a regenerating experience of mercy.”

Day Nine of the Divine Mercy Novena:
"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen (say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Devotion for today: The Three O’clock Hour of Mercy

Today let us examine how to honor the Three O’clock Hour of Mercy.
Scripture for meditation: Luke 23:44-48
It was now around midday, and the darkness came over the whole land until midafternoon with an eclipse of the sun. The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two. Jesus uttered a loud cry and said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” After he said this, he expired. The centurion, upon seeing what had happened, gave glory to God by saying, “Surely this was an innocent man.” When the crowd which had assembled for this spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.

Christ tells us through St. Faustina: At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My passion (1320). I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My Mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice. My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant (1572).

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, gives us these suggestions: …”for an instant”… simply call to mind an image of Jesus on the Cross or look at a crucifix or a picture of Jesus. We can also pray the “Three O’clock Hour Prayer from the Diary of St. Faustina: You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us … O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You (186, 1319). Here’s an idea for those who want to make the stations but don’t have time because of other duties. First, pick one of the fourteen stations and keep it at the back of your mind as you work during the three o’clock hour, thinking about it from time to time. Then meditate on the next station during the next day in the same way, and so on…. Second way: we can confidently present our petitions to the Father by virtue of His Son’s Passion. In particular, we can invoke God’s mercy on the whole world, and especially on unrepentant sinners. The Lord’s promise that He would grant everything we ask for ourselves and for others during the three o’clock hour should help us to pray during it with great boldness and confidence…. It’s a perfect time to pray for others and a great idea to do so through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which only takes about seven minutes. While we can surely pray for ourselves and for our family and friends during the Hour of Great Mercy, let’s not for get to pray also for those who need it most: unrepentant sinners and the dying. Third way: We can visit Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament…if, while running errands we pass by a Catholic Church, we just might want to pay Jesus a visit. (Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, Marian Press, 2011)

Prayer of St. Faustina: Jesus, I beg You, by the inconceivable power of Your mercy, that all the souls that will die today escape the fire of hell, even if they have been the greatest sinners. Today is Friday, the memorial of Your bitter agony on the Cross; because Your mercy is inconceivable, the Angels will not be surprised at this (873).

My thoughts: St. Faustina was a simple soul. A poor Polish peasant, she had only received three semesters of formal education. Sick with tuberculosis and unable to do many tasks, her life revolved around being the gate-keeper at her convent and working in the kitchen; yet God chose her to deliver to the world the incredible message of His infinite Divine Mercy. The words which flowed from her pen are truly God’s, as she could not have possibly even used the vocabulary present in the messages without His guidance. Here we have the definitive way to help save the world. Along with devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the dedication of our lives to Mary, praying the Chaplet and keeping the Three O’clock Hour of Mercy prayer time are the ways Jesus has asked us to obtain the salvation of the world. Is this too simple to believe? Is it not hard enough or demanding enough on hardened, unrepentant sinners? Hmmm… I think that it why it is called “Divine Mercy.” God loves each and every one of us, hard as it sometimes is to believe, with the same amount of love. Like a good Father, He wants us to help our struggling brothers and sisters by praying for them, sacrificing for them, and lending them a hand to get to heaven. Pray the Chaplet, contemplate Christ’s passion, and spread the message of Divine Mercy. I have it on good authority that your reward will be great in heaven!

The Eighth Day of the Divine Mercy Novena:  

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen (say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

      Devotion for today: Divine Mercy for sinners    

Today we turn our attention to the aspect of Divine Mercy centered on all sinners afraid to ask for forgiveness.
Scripture for meditation: Hosea 11:8-9
How can I give you up, o Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! … My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come to destroy.

Scripture for reflection: Luke 15:20-24
“With that he set off for his father’s house. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ The father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.’ Then the celebration began.”

Blessed John Paul II tells us in Dives in Misericordia: Mercy – as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son – has the interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called agape. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and “restored to value.”The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy that he has been “found again” and that he has “returned to life.” This joy indicates a good that has remained intact; even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father’s son. It also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself (no. 6) (Divine Mercy, A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI, Robert Stackpole, DTD, Marian Press, 2010).

Christ revealed to St. Faustina: I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy (1059). Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy (1396). Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you (1488).

St. Faustina tells us: All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary: that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest. But poor is the soul who has shut the door on God’s mercy, even at the last hour. It was just such souls who plunged Jesus into deadly sorrow in the Garden of Olives (1507, The Diary of St. Faustina).

My thoughts: I knew a man who boasted that he was so confident of God’s love for him that he could and would do whatever pleased him in this world, for he would just say he was sorry before he died and he would be “straight” in the eyes of God. I don’t think that is what God is saying to us in these passages. Jesus is revealing to us His unfathomable mercy for those sinners, for all of us, who truly are sorry for what we have done, and may be afraid that forgiveness could not possibly be given. No sin is too great, no deed too terrible for God to forgive. That is why He died for us, to place all sin on the Cross and win our salvation. We do, however, have to be serious about our sorrow for the sin. We do have to mean it when we say we will avoid the near occasion of sin and we must be willing to make an honest effort to keep ourselves from repeating the same sins over and over. We must also believe that when we come to the Father as a prodigal son, lifting our arms to Him in repentance, He will embrace us and welcome us back. God’s mercy knows no limits.

The Divine Mercy Novena

Seventh Day: Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen. Say the Chaplet of Mercy.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit, "we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

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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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Devotion for today: Divine Mercy through the ages

This week we will look at the history of God’s mercy and His request for devotion to His mercy.

Scripture for meditation: Ephesians 2:1-5
You were dead because of your sins and offenses, as you gave allegiance to the present age and to the prince of the air, that spirit who is even now at work among the rebellious. All of us were once of their company; we lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God’s wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy; because of his great love for us he brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were saved.

Scripture for reflection: Isaiah 63: 7-9
I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that he has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel which he has granted them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, surely they are my people, sons who will not deal falsely, and he became their savior. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence save them; in his love and pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Blessed John Paul II tells us in Dives in Misericordia: At the root of the many-sided conviction [about Divine Mercy], which is both communal and personal, and which is demonstrated by the whole of the Old Testament down the centuries, is the basic experience of the chosen people at the Exodus: the Lord saw the affliction of His people reduced to slavery, heard their cry, knew their sufferings and decided to deliver them. In this act of salvation by the Lord, the prophet [Isaiah] perceived His love and compassion. This is precisely the ground upon which the people and each of its members based their certainty of the mercy of God, which can be invoked whenever tragedy strikes (no.4)(Divine Mercy: a Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI, Robert Stackpole, STD, Marian Press, 2010).

To Saint Faustina, Jesus revealed: I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy (998). In the Old Testament I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy. (1588, Diary of St. Faustina)

My thoughts: I just completed a 10 month study of the Bible, and came away awed at how often God warned His people of the danger they were in by leading lives of sin and rebellion. When the society of the time turned its back on God, He would send prophets and holy men and women to beg the people to return to the ways of God. What love and mercy God has always shown for His beloved people! In our age, God is still sending us holy men and women to remind us that God has a two-edged sword; justice and mercy. Through St. Faustina, He is pleading with us to come back to Him with all our hearts, and to seek His mercy. St. Faustina lived in the 1930’s, and this message is for us; some believe it is man’s last chance to turn our societies around and face them once again toward God. As Blessed John Paul tells us, it is personal as well as communal: we must also seek God’s mercy for ourselves as well as for our world. Take time this week to make the Novena to Divine Mercy, say the Chaplet of Mercy every day, and participate in Divine Mercy Sunday services this Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday. It is the least we can do for our prideful selves and for a dying world. Remember, Pope Benedict XVI once stated: “The world as we know it is on the verge of collapse.”

The Divine Mercy Novena: The Fifth Day: Today bring to Me the souls of those who have separated themselves from the Church.
Most merciful Jesus, goodness itself, you do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from You Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen. (Marian Press, Stockbridge, MA).Say a Chaplet of Mercy. (All the first four days of the Novena are on the previous blogs

Monday, April 9, 2012

Devotion for today: The Easter Alleluia!

The Easter Alleluia, by St. Augustine (Discourse on the Psalms)

Our thoughts in this present life should turn on the praise of God, because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice forever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now. So we praise God during our earthly life, and at the same time we make our petitions to him. Our praise is expressed with joy, our petitions with yearning. We have been promised something we do not yet possess, and because the promise was made by one who keeps his word, we trust him and are glad; but insofar as possession is delayed, we can only long and yearn for it. It is good for us to persevere in longing until we receive what was promised, and yearning is over; then praise alone will remain.

Because there are these two periods of time – the one that now is beset with the trials and troubles of this life, and the other yet to come, a life of everlasting serenity and joy – we are given two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after. The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future. What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess. That is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the present season to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing.

 Both these periods are represented and demonstrated for us in Christ our head. The Lord’s passion depicts for us our present life of trial – shows how we must suffer and be afflicted and finally die. The Lord’s resurrection and glorification show us the life that will be given to us in the future.

Now therefore, brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say Alleluia. You say to your neighbor, “Praise the Lord!” and he says the same to you. We are all urging one another to praise the Lord, and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do. But see that your praise comes from your whole being; in other words, see that you praise God not with your lips and voices alone, but with your minds, your lives and all your actions.

We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church; but when we go our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise God. But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God. You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God. If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts. (The Liturgy of the Hours)

Fourth Day: The Divine Mercy Chaplet

Today bring to Me THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD AND THOSE WHO DO NOT YET KNOW ME. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen. Say the Chaplet of Mercy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Devotion for today: Christ is Risen! Christ is Truly Risen




Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Stanza 2:

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!

Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Stanza 3:

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!

Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Stanza 4:

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!

Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!

Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Stanza 5:

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

Stanza 6:

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!

Everlasing life is this, Alleluia!

Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!

Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Third Day: The Divine Mercy Novena

Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse then in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wonderous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.  Say the Divine Mercy Chaplet.