- EXCELLENT website recommendation Catholics Come Home with a MUST WATCH 2-minute video
- The Church speaks in quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) in every e-weekly (in green).
- Divine Mercy and Last Hope of Salvation-Expansion of the Divine Mercy message for our world today (end of e-weekly)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
DIVINE MERCY Novena
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him,
because he always lives to intercede for them." Hebrews 7:25
A VERY BLESSED AND HAPPY EASTER! However looking into the Easter Season, the Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, an unfathomable gift of God that is explained in more detail at the end of this e-weekly. From Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday Jesus asked that a special novena (see term below) be offered which I include below in this week's e-mail.
We say we always want to do what God wants us to do; well this Novena makes God's will clear. We are to pray, obtain mercy, and be vessels of Mercy for these individuals especially listed in these 9-days of prayer, which is being perpetually offered at the above shrine.
Look over and please pray this novena, learn more about it and Divine Mercy! If things in the world and our lives seem to only be getting worse sometimes, then let us finally be convinced that only God can truly change me, change our lives, and change the world!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. The readings can be found at: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/040316.cfm
Homilies (second one contains the Gospel) from Easter Sunday, 50th Church Dedication Anniversary, Easter Wednesday is found below, click with your mouse pointer on the blue lines below (7, 18, 4 minutes respectively):
Easter Sunday (about 7 min.)
50th Church Dedication Anniversary (18 min.)
Easter Wednesday (4 min.)
novena (from Latin novéna "nine each" feminine use of singular of novenas; novem "nine")
- nine days of prayer for some intention or occasion
[Its origin goes back to the nine days that the Disciples and Mary spent together in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. In modern times the one before Pentecost was prescribed for parochial churches.]
Divine Mercy Novena (from Latin divinus "god, godly" + from Latin merces "price paid" = "price paid by God"; from Latin novéna "nine each" feminine use of singular of novenas; novem "nine")
- nine days of prayer from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter) in which special prayers are offered for special intentions revealed Jesus to all through St. Faustina Maria Kowalska
Divine Mercy (from Latin divinus "god, godly" + from Latin merces "price paid" = "price paid by God")
- the unfathomable ready willingness of God, Who feels sympathy for us, to reconcile the sinner; that which was revealed to all through St. Faustina Maria Kowalska
Divine Mercy Sunday (see above and from Old English sunnandæg, trans. of Latin diés sōlis "day of the sun")
- Second Sunday of Easter so named by Pope John Paul II in 2000 A.D.
(Words of Jesus to St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 367)
- DO NOT drive where the water is over the roads. Parts of the road may already be washed out.
- If your car stalls in a flooded area, DO NOT remain in the car. Abandon it as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and sweep a car (and its occupants) away. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
- Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding. DO NOT try to cross a flowing stream where water is above your knees. You could be swept away by strong currents.
- DO NOT sight-see in flooded areas and do not make unnecessary trips. Use the telephone only for emergencies or to report dangerous conditions.
"The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus. Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the "blessed hope" of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the "holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." -Catechism of the Catholic Church#2016
> Catholics Come Home <
Have you been away from the Catholic Faith? Do you know those who have or have family members who no longer practice? This website is for you and them! You can go to the above website to view and play an audio and visual introduction or go here: http://catholicscomehome.org/ for a personalized encounter.
Catholic or not, practicing or not be sure to click here and watch this 2 minute video:
***WATCH ----> http://www.catholicscomehome.org/our-evangomercials/ <---- THIS***
Click on English Version in middle of page
by Elise Harris
Vatican City, Mar 20, 2016 / 06:28 am (EWTN News/CNA) - On Palm Sunday Pope Francis said the path toward salvation can be summed up by humility and service, and encouraged pilgrims to contemplate Jesus' shameful Passion and Death throughout Holy Week.
"Today's liturgy teaches us that the Lord has not saved us by his triumphal entry or by means of powerful miracles," the Pope said March 20.
Instead, in the day's second reading from St. Paul to the Philippians, the apostle "epitomizes in two verbs the path of redemption: Jesus 'emptied' and 'humbled' himself."
These two verbs, Francis said, "show the boundlessness of God's love for us. Jesus emptied himself: he did not cling to the glory that was his as the Son of God, but became the Son of man in order to be in solidarity with us sinners in all things; yet he was without sin."
Jesus chose to take on the condition of a servant rather than that of a king or a prince, the Pope observed, adding that "the abyss" of Jesus' humiliation seems to be "bottomless" as Holy Week approaches.
However, just as he entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, Jesus also wants to enter our lives and cities in the same way, Francis said. "He comes to us in humility; he comes in the name of the Lord."
Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square for his Palm Sunday Mass.
Before opening the celebration, he blessed the palms used in the day's liturgy from the obelisk in St. Peter's Square, and led a procession up to the main altar.
After listening to the lengthy account of Jesus' Passion and Death from the Gospel of Luke, Francis told attendees that the first sign of Jesus' humble and endless love in Holy Week is expressed in the washing of his disciples' feet on Holy Thursday.
By washing their feet, Jesus shows us by example "that we need to allow his love to reach us, a love which bends down to us," he said.
"We cannot do any less, we cannot love without letting ourselves be loved by him first, without experiencing his surprising tenderness and without accepting that true love consists in concrete service."
However, Francis noted that this act is "only the beginning," and that Jesus' humiliation reaches its climax during his Passion, when he is sold for 30 pieces of silver and betrayed by the kiss of a man whom he had chosen and called as his disciple, and whom he called a friend.
In addition to Judas' betrayal, Jesus is abandoned by nearly all the rest of his disciples, he is denied by Peter three times, and is humiliated by mockery, spitting, insults and physical beatings.
Jesus "suffers in his body terrible brutality: the blows, the scourging and the crown of thorns make his face unrecognizable," the Pope said, noting how Jesus was also shamed by the condemnation of religious and political leaders.
In being sent from Pilate to Herod and then back to the Roman governor, Jesus experiences indifference "in his own flesh," because "no one wishes to take responsibility for his fate," Francis observed.
Even the crowd, who had previously welcomed him, call for his crucifixion and ask that a murderer be released instead, the Pope recalled. This then leads to Jesus' death in the "most painful form of shame" intended for traitors, slaves and the worst of criminals.
However, as if his isolation, defamation and pain weren't enough, Jesus takes it a step further, Pope Francis said, explaining that in order to be in complete solidarity with man, "he also experiences on the Cross the mysterious abandonment of the Father."
Jesus faces his final temptation while hanging from the Cross, when he is challenged to come down and save himself. Though instead of giving in, the Lord entrusts himself to his Father in order to conquer evil for good and show the face "of a powerful and invincible God," he said.
Francis explained that even at "the height of his annihilation, (Jesus) reveals the true face of God, which is mercy," by forgiving those who crucify him, moving the heart of the centurion and promising paradise to the repentant thief.
"If the mystery of evil is unfathomable, then the reality of Love poured out through him is infinite, reaching even to the tomb and to hell," the Pope said.
Jesus, he added, "takes upon himself all our pain that he may redeem it, bringing light to darkness, life to death, love to hatred."
Pope Francis concluded his homily by noting how God's way of acting seems to be distant from our own, since "he was annihilated for our sake, while it seems difficult for us to even forget ourselves a little."
"He comes to save us; we are called to choose his way: the way of service, of giving, of forgetfulness of ourselves," he said, and encouraged attendees to pause during Holy Week to contemplate the Crucifix.
By humbling himself, Jesus invites us to walk the same path, Francis said, urging pilgrims to ask him "for the grace to understand something of the mystery of his obliteration for our sake; and then, in silence, let us contemplate the mystery of this week."
After Mass Pope Francis greeted youth present for the 31st World Youth Day, the national celebration of which will take place July 25-31 in Krakow, and led pilgrims in praying the Angelus.
When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercyfor pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1456
Game Respect GameMy cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
Cats Are SmarterCats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
How to Shock a Time TravelerIf someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared, what would be the most difficult thing to explain about life today? One answer: “I possess a device in my pocket that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.”
DID NOAH FISH?
A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?'
'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms.'
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!'
While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray,
'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But please don't shove me either!'
An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, 'They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.'
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
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.
3. On each of the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Sign of the Cross.
"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."
In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."
DAY 1 (Good Friday) - All mankind, especially sinners
DAY 2 (Holy Saturday) - The souls of priests and religious
DAY 3 (Easter Sunday) - All devout and faithful souls
DAY 4 (Easter Monday) - Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him
DAY 5 (Easter Tuesday) - The souls of separated brethren
DAY 6 (Easter Wednesday) - The meek and humble souls and the souls of children
DAY 7 (Easter Thursday) - The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy
DAY 8 (Easter Friday) - The souls who are detained in purgatory;
DAY 9 (Easter Saturday) - The souls who have become lukewarm.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy may also be offered each day for the day's intention, but is not strictly necessary to the Novena.
"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,
and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.
"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a 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 wondrous 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.
"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not 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.
*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.
"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."
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 Your 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.
*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.
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.
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.
*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.
"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.
"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.
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
There was a girl named Elena who lived in Poland during the early part of the 20th century. While at a dance during her teenage years, Jesus Christ on the Cross appeared to Elena. Bleeding and bruised He appealed to her with the words, "How long must I wait for you?" This being the final confirmation that God was calling her to follow Him by being a nun, Elena left the dance immediately going to a nearby church to pray. Without even returning home, Elena then went to the city of Crawcow so that Jesus would not have to wait anymore. And the world has never been the same as Elena, later known as Saint Faustina Maria Kowalska, brought the world: Divine Mercy!
Friends, we are now in the time of great joy called the Easter Octave. The Easter Octave is the 8-day extension of Easter Sunday. It is as if all this time is one big EASTER SUNDAY. The Easter Octave extends until the Second Sundayof Easter, which is now called Divine Mercy Sunday. The Easter Octave is like eight Sundays day after day to celebrate the key of our Faith, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
There were three individuals in the early 20th century who lived at the same time, in the same country (Poland), and at one time, were no further than 15 miles away from each, though they never met face to face. Divine Mercy (that is, the Love of God manifested) enveloped them, and Consecration to Mary infused them with zeal. Because of their abandonment to Jesus, the world has never been the same. Their names are St. Faustina Maria Kowalska-the Apostle of Divine Mercy; St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe-Founder of the Militia Immaculatae; and Pope John Paul the Great.
Jesus Christ appeared to St. Mary Faustina many times in her life as she records in her diary called Divine Mercy in My Soul. St. Maximilian spread the message that Jesus gave, and Pope John Paul II received that message and fulfilled Christ Jesus's will by proclaiming Divine Mercy Sunday in the great Jubilee Year of 2000.
The details of Divine Mercy Sunday can be found below. The second website is about the message of Divine Mercy, the third website is about St. Maximilian Kolbe, and the fourth is more on the life of Saint Mary Faustina:
May the Divine Mercy envelope us all!
"The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands". By going so far as to give up his own Son for us, God reveals that he is "rich in mercy". By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that 'I AM'."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #211
The Last Hope of Salvation
First published April 11th, 2007.
THE FEAST OF WHAT?
THIS coming Sunday, the eighth day in the Octave of Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Many Catholics still have no idea what this is. which as you'll see, is a tragedy.
According to Saint Faustina's diary, Jesus said of this Feast day:
I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. -Diary of Divine Mercy, St. Faustina, n. 965
The "last hope of salvation"? One might be tempted to dismiss this along with other dramatic private revelation-except for the fact it was Pope John Paul II who inaugurated the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday according to this private revelation! (See Part II for a complete understanding of Diary entry 965 which does not restrict salvation to Divine Mercy Sunday.)
Consider these other facts:
. After he was shot in 1981, Pope John Paul asked that the diary of St. Faustina be entirely re-read to him.
. JPII instituted the Divine Mercy Feast in the year 2000. at the beginning of the millennium which he considered the "threshold of hope."
. St. Faustina wrote: "From [Poland] will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming."
. In 1981 at the Shrine of Merciful Love, John Paul II said,
Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter's See in Rome, I consider this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God. -JPII, November 22, 1981 at the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy
. During a 1997 pilgrimage to St. Faustina's tomb, JPII testified:
The message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me. [it] forms the image of this pontificate.
Forms the image of his pontificate! And it was spoken at the tomb of St. Faustina, whom Jesus called His "Secretary of Divine Mercy."
. And as a rather dramatic exclamation point from Heaven, the Pope died in the beginning hours of the Feast of Divine Mercy.
The other title I considered for this article was "When God hits us on the head with a hammer." How can the significance of this Feast escape us when we consider these facts? How can bishops and priests fail to preach, then, the message of Divine Mercy which the Pope considered his "task before God", and therefore, the task of all those in communion with him?
AN OCEAN OF PROMISES
I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and 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. -Ibid. n. 699
Some pastors ignore this Feast because "there are other days, such as Good Friday, when God remits sins and punishment under similar conditions." That's true. But that's not all Christ said of Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus is promising to "pour out a whole ocean of graces."
On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. -Ibid.
What Jesus is offering is not just forgiveness, but incomprehensible graces to heal, deliver, and strengthen the soul. I say incomprehensible, because this devotion has a special purpose. Jesus said to St. Faustina:
You will prepare the world for My final coming. -Ibid. n. 429
If that is so, then this opportunity for grace has paramount significance for the Church and for the world. This is indicated with a certain urgency when Jesus says to Faustina:
Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of my justice, is near. -Ibid. n. 965
TIME OF MERCY
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. In one of her apparitions, the children witnessed an angel hovering above the world about to strike the earth with a flaming sword. But a light emanating from Mary stopped the angel, and justice was delayed. The Mother of Mercy was able to implore God to grant the world a "time of grace."
We know this because Jesus appeared a short time later to a Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska to "officially" announce this time of grace:
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. -Diary of St. Faustina, n. 1160, 1588.
Christ's words further indicate the proximate times we are living in, as foretold in Scripture:
Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day [.] it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:20-21)
As I wrote in Prophetic Perspective, God is patient, allowing His plan to come to fruition, even over the course of generations. However, this does not mean His plan cannot enter its next phase at any moment.
The signs of the times tell us that it could be "soon."
TODAY IS THE DAY
"Today is the day of salvation," says Scripture. And this Sunday is the Day of Mercy. It was asked for by Jesus, and made so by John Paul the Great. We should be shouting to the world at this point-for an ocean of graces is to be poured out, and it is only hours away.
This is what Christ promised on Divine Mercy Sunday:
I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. -n. 1109
And so, the Holy Father has granted a plenary indulgence ("complete pardon") under the following conditions:
.a plenary indulgence [will be] granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!") -Apostolic Penitentiary Decree, Indulgences attached to devotions in honour of Divine Mercy; Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, Tit. Archbishop of Nova Major Pro-Penitentiary;