The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us - all of us. And, 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.
The Divine Mercy message is one 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.
This 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 had begun to spread.
Spend time to learn more about the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus, and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.
The Image of The Divine Mercy St. Faustina saw, represents the Risen Christ bringing mercy to the world. Pope John Paul II said: "Jesus shows His hands and His side [to the Apostles]. He points, that is, to the wounds of the Passion, especially the wound in His Heart, the source from which flows the great wave of mercy poured out on humanity.
"From that Heart, St. Faustina Kowalska, saw two rays of light shining from that Heart and illuminating the world: 'The two rays,' Jesus Himself explained to her one day, 'represent blood and water'.
"Blood and water! We immediately think of the testimony given by the Evangelist John, who, when a soldier on Calvary pierced Christ's side with his spear, sees blood and water flowing from it (see Jn 19:34). Moreover, if the blood recalls the sacrifice of the cross and the gift of the Eucharist, the water, in Johannine symbolism, represents not only Baptism but also the gift of the Holy Spirit" (see Jn 3:5; 4:14; 7:37-39).
I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart. So said Our Lord in one of the visions enjoyed by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. As we approach the Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis, St. Faustina is a worthy patroness for us to turn to.
Born into a poor Polish family at the dawn of the 20th Century, St. Faustina was akin to a modern Blessed Virgin Mary: she came from a poor family in a remote, rural area and through her humility she enjoyed special favor and a profound union with God. At the age of 20 she joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw. Her order's special charism was the merciful care of troubled young women, but given her impoverished upbringing she was deemed unfit to participate in the sisters' primary work. Instead, she was assigned to menial tasks like cooking, gardening and gatekeeping and these she performed dutifully and with utmost joy.
During her quiet and faithful years with the sisters, St. Faustina was privately blessed to receive countless visions of Our Lord. These visions are all recorded in her diary, which was published after her death and has since been read by millions worldwide. She records the Lord's wish that she spread the core Gospel message of Divine Mercy -the good news that through the sacrifice of the Cross, Christ has poured out infinite mercy on the human race and we need only call upon it.
In these visions Christ asked her to spread the idea of Divine Mercy through three specific ways: the veneration of the Divine Mercy Image, the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. None of these initiatives were achieved during her lifetime, but in the decades since her death all three of them have become important parts of Catholic Devotion around the world. In the year of Mercy ahead let us turn to each of them to implore the mercy of God and let us turn to St. Faustina for her prayers.
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
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
4. Hail Mary
5. The Apostle's Creed
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.
Source: Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., August 17,2015, www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/ praythechaplet.php