These are a series of articles about the Divine Mercy Devotion, written by Deb Trenary, that will continue throughout Lent into Easter. Please check back each week for the new articles.
Introduction to Divine Mercy
Who doesn’t like to receive gifts? Think of the times when there was no occasion, but a thoughtful gift arrived from a close friend or family member. Nothing we really deserved, but it was given with love nevertheless, and it brought us so much joy. Jesus is so willing to give us His graces (gifts) of love and mercy even though we don’t deserve them. He is just waiting for us to ask Him with trust to come into our hearts and help with our hectic, daily lives.
In the 1930’s, Jesus chose a very simple Polish sister, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, to help save souls by her personal sufferings and sacrifices for others. She was also chosen to help us understand the new ways that we can receive Christ’s special graces. And special they are! Sr. Faustina‘s “Diary”, which includes a wealth of information and reveals her “conversations” with Jesus, describes five new forms of the Divine Mercy Devotion and what specific promises are attached to each of them. Next week we will discover how the first of these new forms, the “Image of Divine Mercy”, came about and its real significance in all of our lives. “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You” (Diary, 187).
Image of Divine Mercy
How would we feel if the Lord appeared to us in a certain image, asked us to have it painted with the words, “Jesus, I Trust in You”, and then have it blessed on the Sunday after Easter, which is the Feast of Mercy? Stressed to say the least, right? Well, that is exactly how Sr. Faustina felt when the Lord appeared to her in 1931. She delayed having the Image painted for quite some time. Jesus needed to remind her of its importance, and how she would be responsible for those souls who didn’t know about this Image on their journey to heaven. Needless to say, Sr. Faustina got the job done!
The Image is of the risen Jesus coming toward us with his right hand raised in blessing, and His left hand touching His heart where two rays of light shine forward, one red and the other pale. The red ray stands for the Blood of Christ (through the Eucharist); the pale ray stands for water (through Baptism). When we honor this Image with love and trust and remember to extend mercy to others, we are blessed with amazing graces: eternal salvation, progress in Christian holiness, grace of a happy death, and all other possible graces which we ask of Him with trust. “By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it” (Diary, 570). How truly vital it is to have the Image of Divine Mercy in our churches and in our homes! “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You” (Diary, 187).
Divine Mercy Chaplet
What would we do if we saw an Angel of Wrath, sent by God to punish a certain city? Would we be as afraid and sad as Sr. Faustina, and then pray so hard that the angel would have mercy and stop? Would we realize as she did that our prayers had no power to stop this just punishment? But...then suddenly the Holy Trinity was before her, and she heard the words of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This prayer DID have the exceptional power to stop the destruction of that city and reveal once again the mercy of God!
The Divine Mercy Chaplet, which is prayed on rosary beads and under ten minutes if recited, is a simple and awe-inspiring prayer that we can teach our kids and grandkids in our homes and schools. What an awesome gift the Lord gave us! It's a relevant prayer in our everyday lives with our families and friends. Every time we pray this prayer, we pray for each other and for the entire world. If we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with trust and humility, it is such a powerful prayer., esp. for the sick and the dying, conversion of sinners, appeasing just punishment, averting natural disasters, stopping the attacks of Satan, and obtaining special graces and favors. "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 (Diary, 687). The general promise says, "The souls that say this Chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death" (Diary, 754). A very powerful prayer in our lifetime! "Eternal Father, I offer You the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world" (Diary, 476).
Divine Mercy Sunday - April 11, 2021
Just imagine if every year there was a special day set aside for your family doctor to cure people, despite their illness. How many would run to that physician with complete faith and trust in his healing? Divine Mercy Sunday is that day for us! We can run to Jesus, our true physician, who knows how difficult life can be, with all our sins and weaknesses. Sometimes we might be filled with pride and believe that we hardly sin at all; at other times we might feel such despair that we mistakenly think that even God could never forgive us. Divine Mercy Sunday can help prevent those feelings either way. It is a grace-filled day of unbelievable hope for all of us and our families. This is that very special day that Jesus promises many graces, especially those Extraordinary Graces of obtaining 'Complete Forgiveness of Sins and Punishment' (or Consequence of Sin). This is a gift equaled only to the Sacrament of Baptism. After receiving this grace on Divine Mercy Sunday, you then only have to worry about the sins you commit in the future; your past life and sins no longer exist.
Jesus told Sr. Faustina that He would pour out a whole ocean of graces to those souls who were repentant; it would be a merciful day of refuge and shelter for souls, especially for sinners. St. John Paul II declared it a Feast Day on St. Faustina's Canonization, April 30, 2000. During the homily on that day, he said, "In a special way, it is the Sunday of Thanksgiving for all the goodness that God has shown us in the whole Easter mystery". He also stated from that point, the Second Sunday of Easter would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Catholic Church. Next week we will discover the vital steps we need to prepare for this very special day to receive the many graces, especially those Extraordinary Graces of obtaining 'Complete Forgiveness of Sins and Punishment'. "Jesus, I Trust in You!"
3:00 PM – THE HOUR OF MERCY
You might wonder why the three o’clock hour was included as one of the new forms of the Divine
Mercy Devo"on, given by Jesus to St. Faus"na. It is the Hour of Great Mercy. It is the hour that our
Lord died for us. During this special "me, it is important for us to pause and reflect about what Jesus
went through in His Passion. Even as important, this is a "me to believe and trust in His unending
love and mercy for us because of His Passion.
Jesus made this promise to St. Faus"na for all of us: “At three o’clock, implore my mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only
for a brief moment, immerse yourself in my Passion, par"cularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the
hour of great mercy for the world. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My
Passion” (Diary, 1320). Jesus also asked St. Faus"na to say the Sta"ons of the Cross or pray before the Blessed Sacrament
during this hour. If she was unable to do either of these, she was asked to just stop where she was for an instant and remember
Him in prayer. Jesus asks us to do the same. We are encouraged to pray the powerful conversion prayer in faith
on someone’s behalf: “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in
You” (Diary, 187). During this hour, we could also say a short prayer as “Jesus, Mercy” or “Jesus, for the sake of Your Sorrowful
Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Simply set a reminder on your watch or phone to the three
o’clock hour each day to honor Him, and watch the blessings come back to you in abundance!