Sunday, April 03, 2016

What Is the Divine Mercy? How Can We Honor It?

Today's feast day compels us to ask these important questions. Basically, the “Divine Mercy” is the kindness, and forbearance, and forgiveness of God towards men. It is His readiness to assist sinners with His loving grace. It is an essential attribute of God, perfectly embodied in the Person of Jesus.

The message and devotion to Jesus as “The Divine Mercy” is based on the writings of St. Faustina Kowalksa, a Polish nun from the 1930’s who received many revelations from Christ about His mercy and His desire that mankind be devoted to it. She wrote the content of these revelations in a diary over 600-pages long. Pope John Paul II, being from Poland, had a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy, and when he made Sr. Faustina a saint in the year 2000 he also declared that the second Sunday of Easter would be a feast day dedicated to the Divine Mercy for the Universal Church.

The Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception have developed an acronym you can use to remember the message of the Divine Mercy and how to live out a devotion to this Mercy. Just remember your “ABC’s”:
  • A — Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
  • B — Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
  • C — Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive His grace and mercy.
A devotion to the Divine Mercy typically also entails daily praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 PM (the hour of Jesus’ death), displaying the image of the Divine Mercy in one’s home, and receiving the Eucharist on the second Sunday of Easter, “Divine Mercy Sunday.”

I can tell you that praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet has helped me tremendously in finding more peace in my life and in overcoming sin. It is a very simple yet beautiful prayer, and also an excellent first step for anyone who is just beginning to use rosary beads when he prays.

For more on the Divine Mercy, see my previous post: Is the Divine Mercy Chaplet a Cop-Out? (short answer: No!)

Pax Christi,
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