Saturday, April 22, 2006

Divine Mercy Sunday

This Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter is also now known as Divine Mercy Sunday. This was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 2000. The concept was revealed to St. Faustina, a Polish nun, whom Pope John Paul II canonized in 2000.

I think that some places are still not used to the fact that there is a specific feast here. While several churches in our diocese are having special services on Sunday afternoon, our priest said nothing about it during the vigil mass today. Which is a shame.

It's a shame because the concept of Divine Mercy is such a hopeful one. It is a reminder to us that God loves us and that his mercy is infinitely great. All we need to do is ask.

One way to ask for mercy is to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It's really quite simple and easy to learn.

There is also the Divine Mercy Novena. Which in revelations to St. Faustina, Jesus asked be said starting on Good Friday, culminating in Divine Mercy Sunday.

We said the Novena this past week in our household. My husband and I had decided to do it, and we asked the kids if they wanted to participate. They were eager to. So for each day, starting with Good Friday, we got out our rosary beads, sat together and prayed the novena. On a day when the children were going to spend the night at Grandma's, my daughter was concerned about when we would say the novena. But since my husband comes home at lunchtime we were able to do it then. I was thrilled that she cared enough about it to worry about that.

Saying the novena has been a positive experience for our family, and I hope to find other devotions we can do together as well.

But right now I want to say another word or two about his Divine Mercy. God loves us, and he wants to forgive our sins. He is not up in heaven with a tally sheet saying - oh he forgot to confess that one, or boy, I've got her, that's a sin and she doesn't even realize it. He's not out to get us. He loves us and wants us to love Him.

He wants us to love Him. That's the key. And if we love Him, we want to be good - we will not want to commit sins. And if we've done bad in the past - and if we are imperfect and are still committing sins, we just need to ask for God's mercy: It's infinite and He wants to share.

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