The Divine Mercy Novena is really powerful. It offers a path and a trail of concrete holiness in action. As I was doing the Novena of the Divine Mercy the Lord Jesus particularly spoke to me, particularly when I prayed its seventh day. Hereby I would like to present the specific text we pray for this day, which fell on Thursday 8 April 2021, which greatly motivated me to put these humble reflections to paper.
Today bring to Me THE SOULS WHO ESPECIALLY VENERATE AND GLORIFY MY MERCY, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:
Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.
This very evocative text invited me to ask these very pertinent questions, at least as they appear to me: Do we want that our souls grow really mighty because they are armed by God’s very power? Do we want that, amid the afflictions and adversities that we have to face in our earthly pilgrimage, we keep going forward confident in Jesus’ Mercy and totally united with Him? Do we honestly want to lovingly carry all mankind on our prayerful shoulders? Do we want that we shall be less severely judged on our judgment day and be embraced by Jesus’ Mercy as we depart from this life? Do we truly desire that the Father’s Eternal gaze be upon us because we, in our earthly lives, have faithfully responded to his loving call of glorifying and venerating His Mercy, which is His greatest attribute? Do we opt for a life enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus? Are we willing to be living Gospels of Jesus fathomless Mercy for the entire world? Do we like to lead a life full of Jesus overflowing joy and be a living canticle of his Mercy?
If we genuinely want these blessings upon us as well as upon our families the answer is so simple and extremely practical: spread everywhere the Divine Mercy Chaplet!
The greatest deed of mercy we can ever do is when we serve as an instrument for a person’s eternal salvation. We cannot imagine the blessings we shall be receiving both now and in heaven for this majestic act of mercy. Let us never forget that when we give the Divine Mercy Chaplet to someone to start praying it daily we shall be living those blessed seven spiritual works of mercy. How?
First, when I share with others the Divine Mercy Chaplet I instruct those who are not aware of Christ’s unfathomable Mercy for them. In such a fruitful sharing a door has been opened in order that the Catholic faith is passed on to others so that they too shall experience Jesus’ most merciful and transforming power. Second, when I share the Divine Mercy Chaplet I walk closely with people who are are pestered with doubts and questions regarding our faith with Jesus’ Mercy. While praying with and for them the Divine Mercy Chaplet, when needed I can always refer them to a priest for the sacramental confession. Thirdly, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is always an exceptional medicine to be taken so as to be healed from the destructive influence of sin. Hence, by humbly but perseveringly sharing the Divine Mercy Chaplet we might start a respectful, honest and merciful dialogue about certain sinful behaviour that the person concerned finds himself and herself imprisoned in. Jesus’ Mercy infinitely helps us to speak Jesus’ words to people who are entrapped in these unwanted situations which insistently cry for redemption.
Fourth, when I share the Divine Mercy Chaplet I start becoming more aware of the incredible extent to which Jesus is patient with me, a poor sinner. Thus, in our dialogue with others Jesus lovingly reminds us of his patience towards us, especially when we hurt him by our sins. Thus, Jesus helps us show his patience generously to these brothers and sisters who harm him like us by their faults. Fifth, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a very strong token of God’s forgiveness towards us. Let me realize that when I share this most powerful Chaplet with others Jesus is healing, first and foremost, me from my resentful and revengeful attitude towards those who offend me. Furthermore, the more the receivers of the Chaplet commence praying it daily the more they realise how Jesus really forgives them unconditionally, and, in front of such an infinite mercy shown to them, they might opt for forgiving others from their heart too as Jesus does all the time with them.
Sixth, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a splendid medicine of comfort in times of affliction. Imagine if you are praying it by the bedside of someone who is dying. How would that person feel? And how would his or her family feel when they are comforted by such a comforting prayer? How beautiful to walk silently and prayerfully with these people while sharing the Chaplet with them. Finally, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a very sound prayerful means to pray for both the living and the dead. In fact, we pray it near a person who is dying. Would there be a stronger life catechesis about God’s Mercy other than just handing in the Divine Mercy Chaplet and pray with docility with the people we come across our life paths?
A practical suggestion I want to share with everyone in order to be an effective missionary of the Divine Mercy is the following: for those who are Facebook users why not share the clip The Divine Mercy Chaplet Prayer VERY POWERFUL? Its 13,653,911 views so far already says alot and might convince you to do that courageously and generously! Adding to this, the website: Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy 365 Days with Saint Faustina is an excellent aid to appreciate, pray and let the Divine Mercy message transform our lives daily. Such reflections are undoubtedly instructive, encouraging and move us to be zealous apostles of the Divine Mercy.
In all this exercise one thing stands clear: we are not preaching or presenting ourselves as “Holier than thou” but simply be living and humble witnesses of God’s unfathomable mercy whom we, the first ones and its promoters, desperately need in our personal lives to be saved. Thus, let us be active souls in promoting the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Image with all the other works which build up our brothers and sisters in the faith.
If we were saved by the Divine Mercy shown to us in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, then the propagation of the Divine Mercy’s message, particularly through the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, is everyone’s call!
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap