Happy Divine Mercy Sunday my friends! Today is one of my favorite days for many reasons, but it's EXTRA special today because it's Divine Mercy Sunday during the YEAR of Mercy. Big big things are happening I know it....boy do we need it! Actually St. John Paul II says, "There is nothing more that the world needs today than Divine Mercy". Can I get an Amen!!!
For those who aren't familiar with Divine Mercy Sunday, let me explain it using the words Jesus revealed to St. Faustina:
"Tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy, I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so grate that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity." + Diary of St. Faustina, 699
What's the big deal? Why is Divine Mercy so important? It's so important because Divine Mercy is the heart of the Gospel. It is when God, who is love itself, expresses His tender love to poor sinners. He loves the unloved, He forgives the unforgivable. He sees our brokenness and yearns for us to come to Him so that he can pour out his love and mercy on us.
God is so good. NO sin is too big for God. I beg you to run to Him. He will receive you with open arms and a joyful heart that you did. Fr. Michael Gaitely explains this in his book 33 Days to Merciful Love better than I ever could: "It's the Good News that God doesn't love us because we're so good but because He's so good, that he loves us not because we deserve it but because we desperately need it....God isn't attracted to our gifts, virtues, and talents, but rather, to our weakness brokenness and sin. And that is the very definition of mercy."
If we first accept the Lord and allow Him into the darkness of our hearts, then there is no end to what He can do through us. Of course, we must be very sorry for our sins, but as long as we keep on trying, He can move mountains.
Embrace his mercy!
Our goal for the year of Mercy is to always ask for His mercy, be merciful to others, and completely trust in the power of divine mercy. It's not too late to begin something special for the Year of Mercy. Here are a few ideas our family has adopted to help fully embrace this gift of a year:
Write A Letter - I try (but often fail) at fully incorporating the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in my life. There are so many people who are lonely and need a friend, who are hungry and need food, who are sick and need healing. Where do you start? This website has a compiled list of ideas of how to fulfill the corporal works of mercy. Up for something different? One idea is to write a letter (or e-mail) to an inmate in prison telling them you are praying for them. Most of us aren't able to physically go to a prison to talk and pray with inmates, so this is a way for us to do just that. You can visit here to chose which inmate you want to send your letter to.
The 3:00 Hour - Set an alarm on your phone to help you observe the 3 o'clock hour, the hour that Our Lord died for our sins. The best way to do this is to pray the Stations of the Cross if you have time, but you can also say a chaplet, pray the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, or spend some time adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. If you only have a few moments to spare, quietly recall the Lord's passion and pray this prayer:
You expired, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and an 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.
Pray (especially when you don't want to) - Pray the chaplet of divine mercy any chance you get. It only takes 7 minutes to pray! You could pray it walking to and from class, first thing in the morning, or when you are doing a task you really don't want to do. My favorite time to pray it is when I nurse Pier in the middle of the night. That way, I'm uniting the sacrifice of sleepily getting up out of my warm bed to Christ's passion in a tangible way by reciting the chaplet.
Adopt a Soul - Pick someone -- it can be a relative, a friend, a soul in purgatory, or a stranger -- and pray for them often. Any time you do something difficult, pray for that specific person you "adopted" all year long that he or she will be willing to receive the mercy Christ so desperately wants to give them. When sacrifices are made for the sake of someone else, they don't seem that hard anymore!
Take a Drive - I invite you to forgo listening to that Billboard Hot 100 radio in your car for something that benefits your soul. An audio book, a Lighthouse Catholic CD of the month, or listening to the rosary//divine mercy chaplet are all good ways to do this! You don't realize how much time you waste driving and that could be time well spent doing something that can pull you to closer to Jesus.
Make a Consecration to Divine Mercy (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) - There is a reason there are so many exclamation points after this one. Do yourself a favor and buy this book by Fr. Michael Gaitely. It is a gentle guide to the depths of Christ's Divine Mercy through the lens of St. Therese of Lisieux (you see why I love this book so much!). He connects Therese's Little Way to Divine Mercy in such a profound way that I would do it a great disservice if I attempted to summarize. Buy the book and pick a day to make your consecration!
I hope you take advantage of this sacred day and receive all the mercy you can! I'll leave you with this prayer:
Jesus, thank you for your profound merciful love. Help us to receive how deeply you love mankind. Give us the grace to love you as you deserve to be love. We praise you and bless your name always. Amen.
Annnd because this little guy teaches me a lot about mercy, here's a picture from today of Pier being cute. It was a beautiful glorious day!