Sunday, April 19, 2009

The ABC of Divine Mercy Sunday (19 April 2009)

Revelations of Divine Mercy: Daily Readings from the Diary of Blessed Faustina Kowalska
Click on the pix
When you read you begin with A, B, C... When you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi ... (a little diversion, I discovered that people in Kuching like to refer to those with three children as having Do, Re, Mi).

Okay, back to the real topic - Divine Mercy Sunday - which is the 2nd Sunday of Easter ever since year 2000 when the late Pope John Paul II canonised Sister Faustina Kowalska on 30 April 2000.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase that God uses the weak to perhaps shame the strong and arrogant. Well, here again is an excellent example.

Saint Faustina was an uneducated Polish nun. God chose to reveal to her a very special message which we now enjoy the fruits. After consulting with her spiritual director, she obediently journaled a 600-page diary on God's Mercy for humanity.

Even before she died in 1938, the devotion to Divine Mercy began to spread.

So what connection has A, B, C got to do with Divine Mercy?

Well, God uses easy steps to teach people through His creative people (remember the big Talent Pool, we have).

Two years ago, when Patrick, my husband, and I served in the Post-Confirmation class, Adrian Ng, who was our former full-time youth minister, played a video on Divine Mercy for the youths in our class.

Although I can't fully remember all the facts of the video, the conclusion was superb cos' it used the ABC to help us easily remember what this Divine Mercy is all about. In fact, it had become just a stored memory tucked somewhere deep in my mind till this morning when I celebrated mass at St Joseph's Cathedral Miri.

Printed boldly on the bulletin was the ABCs....

A = Ask for His Mercy
God is always waiting for us to approach Him in prayer, to seek repentance for our sins. He wants us to ask 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.

There you have it.

Before I end, I just wanted to add a personal sharing about my own experience on this devotion. To reiterate my earlier post, I'm not so into traditional devotions and repetitive prayers (for this I beg your Mercy Lord) till quite recently.

However, I can now see how God had been sending me all the right signals about this one.

Two clear ones are my grandmother and my dad. I remember even before year 2000, there was a great devotion building up in Ipoh. My dad's friend would gather a group who would pray the Chaplet regularly. That was sometime in the mid or late 1990's.

Prior to that, I've never heard of Divine Mercy (poor cradle Catholic, what to do). My grandmother was part of this group, if I'm not mistaken. She has always been good with the Rosary (which she prayed in the morning when she woke up and before she slept) and then she included the Three O'clock prayer + the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

This group was overjoyed when JPII declared 2nd Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. Another victory for this group was when after 28 years of struggle with the government, finally the Divine Mercy Church in Shah Alam was built. In hindsight, the wait made the victory even sweeter. Pretty much like how Abraham waited so long for the birth of Isaac, I guess.

So now they organised pilgrimages to this church annually. Unfortunately, my grandmother who is now 81 is too weak to be part of it this year (just a few hours ago). Just a few years ago, she even visited the Divine Mercy church in Sabah if I'm not mistaken.

Then there was my cousin Angela's Confirmation. She was baptised as a baby but after her family shifted to Kuala Lumpur, she delayed her other Sacrements till sometime in the late 1990's (pls correct my facts if you ever visit this blog En Sze)

When it was time to choose her Confirmation name, grandma persuaded her to take the name Faustina after the saint of this mighty devotion. I think she prefers Tina for short, right?

Of course, there's my mother-in-law Clara Ferns (pic, with my sister-in-law Linda, a full-time youth worker at SFX, PJ) who also says the Divine Mercy prayers regularly herself and sometimes with her friends and sometimes with us her family members. She is really a good Catholic mom, cos' Pat and his sisters know these prayers by-heart.

Today, I said my 3 o'clock prayer at 3.20pm (overslept after napping) all alone in Miri, but I definitely did not feel lonely cos' I know other Catholics around the world were doing the same in their different time zones. How awesome is that? We are indeed a universal church.

I truly thank you Lord for Your abundant Mercy on me. I pray that You will grant me a merciful heart like Yours (scary prayer - as I know not what test will come my way after this) and I trust in You - that You know what I can or can't handle Lord.

To all reading this blog, may you have a fruitful journey with the Lord this Easter season. After 40 days of fast, He gives us 50days of feasting - isn't He a great God or what?

(If you are new to this devotion, you could use an audio CD to guide you if you are one of those who prefer to listen rather than read... click on the picture below for more details)

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

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