My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, especially for poor sinners. . . .It is for them that the blood and water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. I dwell in the tabernacle as the King of Mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
We are nearing the culmination of this Octave of Easter Week: the Feast of Divine Mercy. It has been a glorious week, with each day celebrated as a mini-Easter. We have prepared with both the Novena of Mercy Chaplets, and the special novena dictated by Our Lord Himself to St. Maria Faustina in preparation for this incredible feast.
Today marks the last day of the Novena of Chaplets. This novena is prayed on ordinary Rosary Beads. Complete instructions regarding the Novena of Chaplets can be found on the Divine Mercy website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php
Today we also complete the final day of the Divine Mercy Novena dictated by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina. For each of the past eight days, Our Lord requested that Sr. Faustina pray for a given group of souls, immersing them in the unfathomable mercy of Christ and then pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father. On this the ninth day of the novena, Our Lord appealed to Sr. Faustina as follows:
“Today bring to Me 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 (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
Today, the final day of the novena, is as follows:
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 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. (Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.)
The complete text of the ninth day of the novena is also available via the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/ninthday.php.
Jesus describes souls such as these in several places in the Diary. At times they are also compared to ice and corpses. Our Lord mentions that the indifferences of these souls offends Him greatly, especially when they are chosen souls. Regarding these souls He states:
“. . . . Souls without love and without devotion, souls full of self-love and egoism, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive. My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces I pour on them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad….. (1702, p. 602 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
Yikes, those words sting! When I look deep within my own soul, I see those moments of arrogance, and hypocrisy, and I shudder to think that Our Lord might be speaking of me! I don’t want to be lukewarm! I certainly do not want to be the cause of Our Lord’s loathing.
Our Lord speaks of these souls on another occasion:
“If souls would put themselves completely in My care, I Myself would undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces upon them. There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them; as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, shielding them with My mercy and giving them first place in My compassionate Heart of Mercy (1682p. 595 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
Our Lord’s love and mercy are immeasurable! He desires to save us, and offers each of us the opportunity to accept the gift of His mercy. This great feast was instituted as not only a celebration of God’s Divine Mercy, but also a vehicle to obtain it.
Jesus was very specific regarding the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy, speaking about it through 14 entries in St. Faustina’s diary. He stipulated that it was to be liturgically celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, and that it include the solemn blessing of a Divine Mercy image bearing the words “Jesus, I trust in You!”Likewise,Our Lord stipulated that priests preach on the subject of the immense Mercy of Jesus during Holy Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Our Lord stated:
“I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it (341 p. 153 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
Jesus promised St. Faustina:
“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 (1109 p. 412 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
This promise is extraordinary! Blessed Pope John Paul the Great – officially instituted Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000, and reiterated the importance of this feast in His homily a year later.
Our Lord designated the 3 O’clock hour as the Hour of Mercy stating:
“At three O’clock , implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter fully into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (1320 p. 474 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”
On Mercy Sunday special Masses will be celebrated around the world to commemorate this solemn feast. This year will be especially significant as Pope St. John Paul II, who canonized St. Maria Faustina, and officially instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy – will himself be canonized, along side Pope St. John XXIII.
To celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy we need to:
(A) Sincerely repent of our sins.
(B) Offer our complete Trust to Jesus.
(C) Sacramentally Confess our sins and be Absolved – (within 8 days prior or after).
(D) Receive Holy Communion.
(E) Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
(F) Venerate (show a gesture of respect) to the Image of the Divine Mercy Jesus.
(G) Be Merciful! Extend Our Lord’s mercy to others by being merciful.
This great feast is an extraordinary celebration of the love and mercy of Christ. Unimaginable graces are poured out upon the whole world through it. Rejoice! Celebrate!
He Is Risen! Alleluia!
He is Truly Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
Ad Jesum per Mariam