Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The Divine Mercy Chaplet (as I have learned to call it) is one of my favorite devotions. It is a beautifully simple prayer that reflects on Christ's loving sacrifice for us. I believe it is a devotion that all Catholics should embrace. I believe there is much healing in it and it definitely brings home each time the extraordinary selfless gift Christ gave to us on that cross. For those of you out there who may know little or nothing about it I will now give you some history and then the prayer.
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 as The 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 hadbegun 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 messagewe 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

As for how to pray it...

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: 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.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

For more on the chaplet, look here: Chaplet of Divine Mercy

I learned how to chant the chaplet a few years ago on a girls' retreat. It's absolutely gorgeous. Remnant Catholic Apostolate also set the Chaplet to music. There are four versions of it: English, English: Eversiond Version, Spanish, and Instrumental. All are absolutely phenomonal.

Divine Mercy Sunday is the second Sunday of Easter. I had the privilege of sharing that Sunday, the one when St. Faustina was canonized, with the youth of my parish and from all over our state (and surrounding states) at a Youth 2000 retreat led by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. It was awesome. This year it will fall on the 23rd, also the weekend of the Youth 2000 in my area! Okay... back on track.

The Hour of Divine Mercy is appropriately the 3 o'clock hour. From her diary:

At three o'clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy ... In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (Diary 1320).

As often as you hear the clock strike the third hour immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it, invoke it's omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners, for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world - mercy triumphed over justice.

Try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Most Blessed Sacrament. My Heart, which is full of mercy: and should you be unable to step into chapel. immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. (Diary 1572)

If you would like to learn more about the Divine Mercy you can visit these pages at EWTN: Background, St. Faustina, The Image, Feast of Mercy, Indulgence, The Chaplet, The Novena, The Hour, Second Coming, Audio/Video

I would encourage everyone to try the Divine Mercy Chaplet. A great solution for people on the go is to purchase the CD from Remnant's online store. The whole chaplet takes about fifteen minutes and is set to great music. Easy to listen to on the way to pick up the kids or on your way home from work. It's been a great solution for many people I know. Some have said they are more likely to pray it on a daily basis with this CD in hand. (Shameless advertising for my friends, I know.)

Hope you all are having a most blessed holy week! Don't forget to look for template changes soon!


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