“Heavenly Father and God of Mercy, We no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for He is alive and has become the Lord of Life.” ~From the liturgy for Divine Mercy Sunday
“Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.” ~Bl. Pope John Paul II
A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the calendar, and made a realization: we had, without realizing it, scheduled our infant daughter’s baptism for Divine Mercy Sunday.
It was a delightful surprise. During the month or so between Pope Benedict’s announcement of his abdication, and the election of Pope Francis, I had felt led to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet for the Cardinals who would be going into the Conclave. It’s a prayer that I am very naturally drawn to: if you read through St. Faustina’s writings about her visions of our Lord, it’s very clear that the Divine Mercy devotion is very closely related to devotion to the Sacred Heart, but perhaps with a more Lenten emphasis…
Towards the end of that time, one of my sisters, who was preparing to be received into the Catholic Church, asked me to help her figure out a Confirmation name. She’s a very talented artist, and so wanted to take a patron saint who reflected that, but as you may know, the patron saint of painters is St. Luke–and she wanted to pick a female saint. I suggested St. Faustina, who, while not a painter herself, had the Divine Mercy image painted and then subsequently promoted throughout the world. And so, just last week, she took the name Faustina…
And now, our beloved daughter will receive the very Sacrament of Mercy on this great feast day, proclaimed by a Pope who played such a crucial role in my journey home to Rome (and who canonized St. Faustina, and was a great defender and promoter of the Divine Mercy devotion).
So much else has been written about the Divine Mercy devotion elsewhere (for instance, at Fr. Longenecker’s blog). But I just had to stop and reflect for a moment on the incredible amount of Mercy that’s been given to me and my family so far this year, and to say how incredibly grateful I am to our wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ. We worship and serve a God of Mercy and Love, and because of that, it is “our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give Him thanks.” And even when we deserve it least, His mercies are new every morning.
St. Faustina, ora pro nobis!
Bl. John Paul II, ora pro nobis!
“O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!”