What is Divine Mercy?
The Message of Divine Mercy is that God is merciful. He is Love itself poured out for us, and He wants no one to escape that merciful love. The message is that God wants us to turn to him with trust and repentance while it is still a time of mercy, before He comes as the just Judge. This turning with trust to Him who is Mercy itself is the only source of peace for mankind. Turning to and imploring God’s mercy is the answer to the troubled world. There is no escaping that answer.
THE RESPONSE OF TRUST AND CONVERSION
What God most wants of us is to turn to Him with trust. And the first act of trust is: receive His mercy. To trust God is to rely on Him who is mercy itself. The Lord wants us to live with trust in Him in all circumstances. We trust Him because He is God, and He loves us and cares for us.
His mercy is always available to us no matter what we have done or what state we are in, even if our sins are as black as night, and we are filled with fears and anxieties.
“The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to my mercy” (Diary 723).
But there is more we can do. As Catholics, as Christians, we can go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be reconciled to God and to man. The Lord wants us to live reconciled with Him and one another.
THE RESPONSE OF MERCY TOWARD OTHERS
Not only are we to receive his mercy, but we are to use it, by being merciful to others (Lk 6:36) by our actions, by our words, and by our prayers; in other words, by practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
The Corporal Works of Mercy are: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering travelers, comforting prisoners, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are: teaching the ignorant, praying for the living and dead, correcting the sinner, counseling those in doubt, consoling the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, and forgiving wrongs willingly.
MERCY - THE MESSAGE AND RESPONSE THROUGH THE AGES
The message and response of mercy is not something new. In the past God spoke a message of mercy through the patriarchs and prophets – through Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah and many others. In the last days God has spoken to us by His Son, Jesus Christ, who is Mercy personified and incarnated. God continues to speak a word of mercy even to our generation, through the Church and its shepherds, and through Holy men and women – mystics – whom God has chosen as His vessels. In our time, He revealed Himself to St. Faustina, a simple and holy nun in Poland during the 1930’s. He called her to be His secretary and His apostle of mercy. He spoke to her of His mercy and the way He wants us to respond to it.
DEVOTION TO THE DIVINE MERCY
Our Lord not only taught St. Faustina the fundamentals of trust, and of mercy to others, but He also revealed special ways to live out the response to His mercy. These we call the devotion to The Divine Mercy. The word “devotion” means fulfilling our vows. It is a commitment of our lives to the Lord who is Mercy itself. By giving our lives to The Divine Mercy – Jesus Christ Himself – we become instruments of His mercy to others, and so we can live out the command of the Lord: “Be merciful even as your Father is merciful”(Lk 6:36). Through Sister Faustina, Our Lord gave us special means of drawing on His mercy: an Image of The Divine Mercy, a Feast of Mercy (celebrated the Sunday following Easter), a
novena, and prayer at the 3:00 o’clock hour – the hour of His death. These special means are in addition to the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation that have been given to the Church.
Preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday is April 3, 2016 (celebrated the Sunday following Easter)
Commence the Novena to The Divine Mercy on Good Friday. The Novena includes special intentions for each day and reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The wide range of intentions, which do not include personal needs, makes the great popularity of this novena all the more astounding. In this novena, we truly make the Lord’s intentions our own – a beautiful expression of the Church’s privilege and duty, as the Bride of the Lord, to be the intercessor at Christ’s side on the throne of mercy.
Graces On Divine Mercy Sunday*. To fittingly observe the feast and receive the promises Jesus made to St. Faustina (complete remission of all sins and punishment, the same grace renewed as at Baptism):
- Come to Jesus with a humble and contrite heart, with repentance for all your sins.
- Place your complete trust in the Divine Mercy of Jesus.
- Attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Divine Mercy (in the state of grace, that is, with no mortal sin).
- Make a sacramental Confession (on that day, or before, otherwise several days before or after the feast.)
- Venerate the Image of the Divine Mercy (Diary 327, 570, 48)
- And perform an act of mercy (on Divine Mercy Sunday): physically, by helping others, or spiritually, by prayers of intercession. Offering the plenary indulgence that you receive on that day for a deceased soul in purgatory would suffice (an indulgence cannot be applied to any other living person beside yourself).
*To insure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself (St. John Paul II), established that this Sunday be enriched by a Plenary Indulgence (remove all temporal punishment due for forgiven sins), earned when one meets the basic conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayers for the pope) and then, “with a soul totally detached from affection to any sin, even venial, participate in the pious practices undertaken in honor of Divine Mercy (see above), or at least recite in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father: the Our Father, the Creed and a pious invocation to the merciful Lord Jesus”, such as “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you.” That is, the plenary indulgence from the Church’s treasury is an opportunity to receive additional graces on this extraordinary feast day!
Find a parish having Divine Mercy Sunday Devotions and attend.
There will be special celebration at Door of Mercy locations. Keep on eye on www.cdop.org/mercy for coming details.
Sample Celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy
Entrance Hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
2. Penitential rite
3. Opening Prayer
4. Liturgy of the Word:
5. Responsorial Psalm: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love is everlasting.”
6. Blessing of the Divine Mercy image with veneration of image (just like veneration of cross)
7. Chaplet of Divine Mercy
8. Praises of the Divine Mercy Response: “I trust in You”.
9. Closing Prayer
10. Final Blessing
Recessional Hymn “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.”
Confessions follow Divine Mercy Celebration
An act of mercy should take place in our lives in honor of the Feast of Divine Mercy; that is by being merciful to others in our words, deeds and prayer.
Download the Knights of Columbus FREE booklet, “Divine Mercy Hour of Prayer” that includes the hymns, readings, prayers, introductory & concluding rites for the above Celebration.