April 12th Divine Mercy Sunday

10.30am. Ordinariate Sung Mass at Hockley
Celebrant Fr. Jeff Woolnough


Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion
From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion
began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The
message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the
Church has always taught through scripture and tradition:
that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must
show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy
devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus,
calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is
unlimited and available to everyone — especially the
greatest sinners.


The message and devotion to Jesus asThe Divine Mercy
is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an
uneducated 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 message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that
His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon
Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to
others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message
we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.


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.


The Divine Mercy Devotion

Devotion to The Divine Mercy involves a total commitment to
God as Mercy. It is a decision to trust completely in Him, to
accept His mercy with thanksgiving, and to be merciful as
He is merciful.


The devotional practices proposed in the diary of Saint
Faustina and set forth in this website are completely in
accordance with the teachings of the Church and are firmly
rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior.
Properly understood and implemented, they will help us
grow as genuine followers of Christ.

Merciful Heart

There are two scriptural verses that we should keep in mind
as we involve ourselves in these devotional practices:


1. "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are
far from me" (Is 29:13);


2. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt
5:7).


It's an ironic and somewhat frightening fact that many of the
most religious people of Christ's time (people who were
actively practicing their religion and eagerly awaiting the
promised Messiah) were not able to recognize Him when
He came.


The Pharisees, to whom Christ was speaking in the first
quotation above, were very devoted to the prayers, rules,
and rituals of their religion; but over the years, these outer
observances had become so important in themselves that
their real meaning had been lost. The Pharisees performed
all the prescribed sacrifices, said all the right prayers, fasted
regularly, and talked a lot of about God, but none of it had
touched their hearts. As a result, they had no relationship
with God, they were not living the way He wanted them to
live, and they were not prepared for the coming of Jesus.


When we look at the image of the Merciful Savior, or pause
for prayer at three o'clock, or pray the Chaplet — are these
things drawing us closer to the real sacramental life of the
Church and allowing Jesus to transform our hearts? Or have
they just become religious habits? In our daily lives are we
growing more and more as people of mercy? Or are we just
giving "lip service" to God's mercy?

Living the Message of Mercy

The devotional practices revealed through Saint Faustina
were given to us as "vessels of mercy" through which God's
love can be poured out upon the world, but they are not
sufficient unto themselves. It's not enough for us to hang The
Divine Mercy image in our homes, pray the Chaplet every
day at three o'clock, and receive Holy Communion on the
first Sunday after Easter. We also have to show mercy to our
neighbors. Putting mercy into action is not an option of the
Divine Mercy Devotion; it's a requirement!


Our Lord strongly speaks about this to Saint
Faustina:


I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of
love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always
and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to
excuse yourself from it (Diary, 742).


Like the gospel command, "Be merciful, just as your Father
is merciful," this demand that we show mercy to our
neighbors "always and everywhere" seems impossible to
fulfill. But the Lord assures us that it is possible. "When a
soul approaches Me with trust," He explains, "I fill it with such
an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within
itself, but radiates them to other souls" (Diary, 1074).


How do we "radiate" God's mercy to others? By our actions,
our words, and our prayers. "In these three degrees," he tells
Sister Faustina, "is contained the fullness of mercy" (Diary
742). We have all been called to this threefold practice of
mercy, but we are not all called in the same way. We need to
ask the Lord, who understands our individual personalities
and situation, to help us recognize the various ways we can
each show His mercy in our daily lives.


By asking for the Lord's mercy, trusting in His mercy, and
sincerely trying to live His mercy in our lives, we can assure
that we will never hear Him say of us, "Their hearts are far
from Me," but rather that wonderful promise, "Blessed are
the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."


Read more:http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/backgr.htm#ixzz3WyvqwSsE
Do continue to read and reread the
information on the EWTN website and make the prayers, attitudes,
and practices presented a real part of your life, so that you
may come to trust completely in God and live each day
immersed in His merciful love — thus fulfilling the Lord's
command to let your life "shine before people, so that they
will see the good things you do and praise your Father in
Heaven" (Mt 5:16).


The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy

How to Recite the Chaplet

The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

4. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

5. The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

6. The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the "Eternal Father" (6) on the "Our Father" bead and then 10 "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" (7) on the following "Hail Mary" beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.


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