Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday—the Sunday after Easter Sunday—the Church offers the strongest HOPE of God’s Mercy being poured out on Sinners---
This next Sunday the Church offers strong, plenary indulgences to those who partake in the Divine Mercy. There are many things you can do, and as you grow in this devotional you will surely want to add the Chaplet, the daily prayers, carrying an Image of the Divine Mercy—and below I give you more info then you need—but here is the thing—know and do this when at your Sunday Mass obligation and you will receive abundant mercy: On Divine Mercy Sunday in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the Tabernacle, recite the Our Father, the Creed, and say-“Merciful Jesus, I trust in you."
Do it and make sure you share these simple prayers of our faith with everyone you know and love. And here is the larger teaching, and then the particular rubrics for the indulgence for those who want to dig deeper—but remember—just do the simple prayers above and SEE that Father God will pour out His Mercy to you through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Standing in the Need of Mercy for Life,

The message of The Divine Mercy is simple-God loves us - all of us-all the time. Father God wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins. He longs for us to call upon Him with trust, to receive His mercy, and to let it flow through us to others. This is the way of Mercy and the Threshold of HOPE.
Simply remember the Heavenly ABC’s:
A - Ask God for His Mercy. God wants us to Ask for Mercy. Pray without ceasing is what the Bible says-to always and everywhere be coming to Him in prayer, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you…Jesus, Son of God, have Mercy on me a Sinner, and on the Whole World…”
B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy. And when we have received the Mercy of God we suddenly know what to do with it-there is only one thing to do-that is to let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
C - Completely trust in Jesus. “Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be Happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.” There is a heavenly principle in that the more we ask, the more we receive, the more we trust, the more we receive, the more we allow trust, mercy, faith, hope, love, and graces to flow through us to others, the more we get back to offer up to be given out…

The following is borrowed from the EWTN info on the Divine Mercy for those who want more in-depth instruction. You can also use your favorite Search Engine to look up more simply by putting in “divine mercy”. There is a lovely chaplet that can be sung or prayed along the beads of your rosary—it is a Chaplet I used for years to get those Separated Brethren through no fault of their own from the Catholic Church to pray ecumenical rosaries with me in front of Planned Parenthoods all across the country when I was a Baptist preacher. During those pro-life activist years I gave out over 14,000 rosaries as a Baptist pastor and NO one refused to pray the Mercy prayers with me on the beads I gave them.
Enjoy the “sure mercies of David” that God desires to give to all—daniel

EWTN website:
The Divine Mercy devotion is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread. The devotional practices proposed in the Diary of Saint Faustina are completely in accordance with the teachings of Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Grow in trust, mercy through asking, praying, and seeking the Mercy of Jesus and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.
The earliest element of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina was the Image. On February 22nd, 1931 Jesus appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said,
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47)I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48) I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature" :Jesus, I trust in You." (Diary 327)
The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. (Diary 299) Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush, lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace. (Diary 313) By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (Diary 742)
In these texts the Church's doctrine on images, justification and grace are explained. First, by itself an image is merely a painting, no matter how beautiful and expressive. Yet, it can point us the mysteries of the faith and dispose us to grasp and receive what it represents, in this case the Divine Mercy. It is thus a vessel, not the source, a reminder, not the reality. The reality is the merciful fountain of grace flowing from the pierced Heart of Christ on the Cross, and flowing out visibly to represent the visible that is the sacramental, signs of grace, Baptism and Eucharist, standing for all the sacraments of the Church. Thus, St. John in his first letter insists on the presence of the invisible with the visible, the Spirit with the water and the Blood.
The image also reminds us that salvation is not just by faith, but by works of charity also. It takes faith to see and believe in what the Image signifies, Divine Mercy poured out from Christ upon the Cross, but it takes mercy, love going beyond the strict requirements of justice, in order to draw down mercy on oneself. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" (Mt 6:12) and”the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you" (Mt 7:2) The Image of the pierced side of Christ pouring out blood and water reminds us that the Cross, love in action, is the price of mercy. "As I have loved you so also should you love one another." (Jn 13:34)
Summary of the Decree of Indulgence

O God, your mercy knows no bounds and the treasure of your goodness is infinite..." (Prayer after the "Te Deum" Hymn)
"The paschal mystery is the culmination of this revealing and effecting of mercy, which is able to justify man, to restore justice in the sense of that salvific order which God willed from the beginning in man, and through man, in the world" (Encyclical Letter Dives in misericordia, n. 7).
"And so with provident pastoral sensitivity and in order to impress deeply on the souls of the faithful these precepts and teachings of the Christian faith, the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, moved by the consideration of the Father of Mercy, has willed that the Second Sunday of Easter be dedicated to recalling with special devotion these gifts of grace and gave this Sunday the name, "Divine Mercy Sunday" (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Decree Misericors et miserator, 5 May 2000).
Plenary indulgence
I. The usual conditions for every plenary indulgence:
• sacramental confession [according to previously issued norms, within about 20 days before or after]
• Eucharistic communion [according to previously issued norms, preferably on the day, or the days before or after]
• prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff [certain prayers are not specified]
II. The specific conditions for this Indulgence
On 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 honor of Divine Mercy
• or, 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!")
Partial Indulgence
A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation. [e.g. Jesus I trust in You. My Jesus mercy. or any other approved invocation]
Those who cannot go to church or the seriously ill
Conditions for a Plenary Indulgence:
• totally detesting any sin,
• the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions of confession, communion and prayers for the Holy Father
• recite the Our Father and the Creed before a devout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus
• pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).
If it is impossible to do even this:
• with a spiritual intention unite with those carrying out the prescribed practice for obtaining the Indulgence in the usual way and
• offer to the Merciful Lord a prayer and the sufferings of their illness and the difficulties of their lives, with the resolution to accomplish as soon as possible the three conditions prescribed to obtain the plenary indulgence.
Duty of priests
Priests who exercise pastoral ministry, especially parish priests, should
• inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church's salutary provision [of a plenary indulgence].
• promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions [this does not necessarily have to be on Divine Mercy Sunday itself, since that is not a condition for the indulgence]
On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass or Vespers, or during devotions in honor of Divine Mercy,
• lead the recitation of the prayers
• when they instruct their people, gently encourage the faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can

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