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Jesus the Divine Mercy is Alive!

April 19, 2009

There is much to be said about the Divine Mercy. Here are links to some current articles as well as other resources

[In today’s Gospel, John 20: 19-31, we see that our] Lord’s first words to the Apostles upon His appearance in the Upper Room are not words of condemnation. He does not call them worthless louts for running off on Him. He does not take back the gift of the priesthood conferred upon them on the night of the Last Supper. Rather, His first words are, “Peace be with you.” These are the words the frightened, troubled Apostles needed to hear.

Such is the depth of love Christ has for each of us. Nothing stands in the way of our knowing and receiving that gift except the sins of pride, which prevents us from saying things like “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you,” and despair, which keeps us from thinking we deserve such a gift. What God is willing to give, we should not be so ready to shun or ignore. We may weep bitterly for our sins as Peter did, but we must never forget that God is ready to show us His mercy. He is ready to say, “I forgive you. “ First, we need to say we’re sorry.

Then comes a great commission: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” The Divine Son came into the world to establish His kingdom on earth. The work of building up that kingdom – of building up the Church – would continue with the Apostles.

He commissions them to be ministers of reconciliation: “Whose sins you forgive will be forgiven, and whose sins you retain will be retained.” Jesus Christ, whose very heart is the fount of grace and mercy, commissions the Apostles to be the ministers of those very same gifts. Who better to carry out that task than those who understood the need for mercy? One can easily imagine Peter and Thomas being patient and understanding with the faults of others because they were fully aware of their own weakness and moments of doubt. One can also imagine them being firm in correcting sinners, knowing as they did the glory and power of God revealed in Christ.

This Sunday is a fitting day to celebrate this precious gift of reconciliation, the sacrament of mercy. The second Sunday of Easter was designated by Pope John Paul II as Divine Mercy Sunday. The Holy Father had a special devotion to St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun whose diary spoke of Our Lord’s desire to have a special feast established on this day celebrating and exalting God’s powerful mercy.

Our Lord said to St. Faustina: “I desire that this feast of mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The souls that will go to confession and holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sin and punishment.”

Jesus also told St. Faustina: “When you approach the confessional, know that I myself am waiting there for you. I am hidden only be the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Make your confession before me. The person of the priest is, for me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to me, and I will fill it with my light.” = Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy

Three conditions for the plenary indulgence

And so the Supreme Pontiff, motivated by an ardent desire to foster in Christians this devotion to Divine Mercy as much as possible in the hope of offering great spiritual fruit to the faithful, in the Audience granted on 13 June 2002, to those Responsible for the Apostolic Penitentiary, granted the following Indulgences:

  • a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or 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 honour of Divine Mercy, or who, 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!”);
  • A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.
  • For those who cannot go to church or the seriously ill

In addition, sailors working on the vast expanse of the sea; the countless brothers and sisters, whom the disasters of war, political events, local violence and other such causes have been driven out of their homeland; the sick and those who nurse them, and all who for a just cause cannot leave their homes or who carry out an activity for the community which cannot be postponed, may obtain a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, if totally detesting any sin, as has been said before, and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions, will recite the Our Father and the Creed before a devout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus and, in addition, pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).

If it is impossible that people do even this, on the same day they may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if with a spiritual intention they are united 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.

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