Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Feast of Divine Mercy

(This is a guest blog entry by Frank Ruffolo.)

The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Divine Mercy.  This year the Feast of Divine Mercy falls on Sunday April 15, 2012.  May I suggest that If there is one book one should get besides the Holy Bible it is the diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.

Our Lord Jesus Christ consigned a great mission to this simple, uneducated but courageous religious named Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska.  Jesus said to her, "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. ... You are the secretary of My mercy;  I have chosen you for that office in this and the next life ... to make known to souls the great mercy that I have for them and to exhort them to trust in the bottomless depth of My mercy."

Jesus also asked Sister Faustina to have an image of the Merciful Jesus painted to show how Christ appeared to her.  Its pattern was revealed in the vision Sister Faustina had on February 22, 1931, in her convent cell at Plock, Poland.  Sisiter Faustina writes that "Jesus said to me, 'Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I want this be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.'"

The feast is a day for worshipping God in His mystery of mercy, but also a time of grace for all people.  The Lord Jesus said: "I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. ... Souls perish in spite of My bitter passion.  I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, recourse to My Mercy.  If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity."

I encourage everyone to learn to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  The Lord said, "When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated; unfathomable mercy envelops the soul."  The general promise says, "It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet ... If what you ask for is compatible with My will."  The ideal time to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet is at 3:00pm and using a rosary.

The Lord said to Sr. Faustina, " 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."

Though she died in obscurity in 1938, Sister Faustina was hailed as "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time", by Pope John Paul II and was canonized on April 30, 2000.
God so loved us that even after the passion of Christ he made this beautiful Divine Mercy devotion available to the whole world.  Only when we pass into the next world will we better understand the great love and mercy that God has for each of us.

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