(Divine) Mercy Awaits Us

Jesus, I trust in You!!

The Sunday after Easter has been dedicated as Divine Mercy Sunday – so, naturally, that’s what T4C talked about this week!

We talked about the feast itself, the beautiful message given to St Faustina, and prayers associated with it, and also about the beauty of forgiveness, mercy, and the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Check out the prezi we used here!

The brief notes on Divine Mercy include the following:

There are several elements to Divine Mercy and can be remembered as “FINCH”:
Feast
Image
Novena
Chaplet
Hour

Divine Mercy is different – it’s both a message and a devotion. The message is the heart of Gospel. Divine Mercy is a person.

The Divine Mercy message is one 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 receive.

original_painting_of_the_divine_mercy_by_eugeniusz_kazimirowski_in_1934_wikimedia_commons_40_cna.jpg
In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing; the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world” (St Faustina’s Diary, 47).

I’d also highly recommend listening to some of Father Chris Alar (below) as he talks passionately to engage us about the message of Divine Mercy and the story of the woman (St Faustina) who shared it with us:

What is Confession? rec•on•cil•i•a•tion  Confession (or Penance or Reconciliation) is the sacrament by which we, repenting and confessing our sins, are absolved of sin through the ministry of a priest.

How did Christ establish Confession? Where can you find it in the Bible?
To Peter He says: “And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).
“As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained’ (John 20:21-23).
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)

Why can a priest forgive sins?

Here are some bullet point arguments for the priest forgiving our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. First, we point to the Scriptures for the basis…
Mt 9:2                  Authority given to men to perform works in Jesus’ name
2 Cor. 5:17-20    Ambassadors for Christ
Jn. 20-19-23        Jesus breathes on the apostles “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven…”
James 5:16          Confess your sins to one another

It’s not the priest that forgives our sins, but Jesus. The priest sits “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and by His authority and as His ambassador, forgives our sins. The priest also represents the community, because when we sin, it doesn’t just affect us, but the whole body of Christ.

We are commanded to confess our sins to a priest and there are great reasons:

  1. We receive the assurance of the words “I forgive you…” and aren’t left wondering
  2. It appeals to our senses as humans (to hear the words); it’s good for the soul!
  3. We can receive great spiritual direction from the priest
  4. We grow in humility
  5. We receive the graces we need to “go and sin no more” – restoring sanctifying grace that was lost or give us grace to go forth better equipped for holiness

We can talk with our Protestant brothers and sisters about it, noting that they accept the sacrament of baptism. We can explain that the same way that a minister (or priest) has been given the authority to baptize someone and remove original sin, a priest can also remove sins during the sacrament of confession. Those Protestants who seek baptism more than once have the right sentiment, but the wrong sacrament!

  • Good idea to go about once a month
  • Precept of the Church (5 minimums) to go at least once a year

We also gave a handout with prayers and the message to reference and use. If you’ve never prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet, it’s a really awesome meditative prayer you can use a rosary (or your fingers) to pray and is short and sweet (especially if you sing it!).

How to Recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross.
  2. Optional Opening Prayer: 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 fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
  3. Our Father: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
  4. Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
  5. The Apostle’s Creed: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from then He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
  6. The Eternal Father (the 5 big beads): 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.
  7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
  8. Repeat for the remaining decades: Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.
  9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
  10. Optional Closing Prayer: Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

For more information, check out the following:
https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/divine-mercy-crash-course
https://www.thedivinemercy.org/articles/so-what-does-image-mean
https://www.catholic.com/tract/confession
http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2012/04/deacon-bickerstaff-catholic-response-to-common-objections-to-sacrament-of-confession/
https://catholicstrength.com/2016/11/29/the-bible-says-to-confess-your-sins-to-one-another/

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