Do whatever is within your power and Jesus will do the rest!
Jesus told St. Faustina to “Do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.” (Diary, 1074) So that is what we have to do; give the Lord Jesus 100%. Jesus is relying on us to help Him. By virtue of our Baptism, we are called to evangelize. Make it your business to do everything possible to save the souls of the lost within your local parish, diocesan, or country-wide area.
Check out how Jesus fulfilled His promise, to make up for what we lack in the front page headlines and half page inside story of a newspaper that covered a 50 mile radius for the first celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday!
How did this happen? Jesus did it!
Here is the story:
Just after the canonization of St. Faustina and the institution of Divine Mercy Sunday, by Saint Pope John Paul II, in the Jubilee Year 2000, I was very excited about the entire Catholic Church, finally, celebrating this new feast.
It was at the beginning of Lent in 2001, which was to be the very first universal celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, that I decided to approach my pastor, about celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, in our parish. My pastor had been previously shying away from celebrating the Feast of Mercy and I thought for sure that he would be very open to celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, especially after it had been made an official feast in the Church.
When I finally approached him, I said "Father, we are going to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, this year, right?", but he said "no". But then I said to him, "but Monsignor, it is an official feast now", but his reply was "I know everything about the Chaplet". I then thought to myself, "where did he ever get the idea that the Feast of Mercy has anything to do with the Chaplet?"
I then responded to him with "but Monsignor, Divine Mercy Sunday is not about the Chaplet". He raised his voice and responded "I know everything about the Chaplet and I don't want to talk about it!" "Yikes", I said to myself, as I walked away and thought, "who could have done this and misdirected and discouraged this priest? What could have angered him so much?"
After his final and animated "no", I could sense that Jesus must have been saddened and I just couldn't give up and let souls perish, especially after the Lord had demonstrated to me, the incredible ability to save souls, on the Feast of His Mercy. Please read my Testimony to the Ocean of Graces.
My next step: I followed Jesus' instructions
I was thinking "I have to do something; I can't just let souls perish, when I know full well, that Jesus has given us this feast and He wants the Church to use it to save lost souls, those that especially need His Divine Mercy". I had to try to do the very best that I could, even if I wasn't qualified, just like Jesus asked us to do, in diary entry # 1074 “Do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack.
So I contacted all of the newspapers within a 50 mile radius and with the most enthusiasm that I could muster, I told them about the new feast in the Catholic Church that can give penitents the total forgiveness of sins and punishment, in other words, a straight ticket to Heaven! I ended up with a few reporters contacting me for interviews. I had never done this before!
An incredible surprise from Jesus!
I had been hoping for the newspapers to do "something", but I never, ever, expected front page "headline" news! I was at work the Saturday morning before Divine Mercy Sunday and I had come home for lunch and found my wife in tears of joy, holding up to me, the front page headlines, which read "Forgive us our sins... Catholic Church institutes Divine Mercy Sunday to give members total absolution from sins and punishment".
My wife was joyously telling me about all of the people that were calling our ministry line and asking when and where they could go to confession to be ready for the feast. My heart was overjoyed that Our Lord had fulfilled His promise to "make up for what we lack" if we tried our very best to help Him!
Churches flooded with people going to Confession!
Needless to say, every Catholic Church within a 50 mile radius had people flooding the confessional lines and retuning to the practice of their faith! On Divine Mercy Sunday, itself, people were walking into the Churches with the biggest smiles on their faces; they were coming into a very special feast and they knew it! The Churches were full, even a few weeks, after the feast day!
Pastor is renewed and energized!
My pastor, who was dead set against having anything to do with Divine Mercy, is now accepting of it and energized from hearing the confessions of people returning to the practice of their faith! On the morning after Divine Mercy Sunday, after Mass, my pastor walked straight up to me, looked at me straight in the eyes, grabbed my hand and said "thank you, Bob"!
I guess that he figured that I must have had something to do with getting the newspapers to react, but it was the Holy Spirit at work! When he told me those words "thank you, Bob", I could sense the Holy Spirit telling me that it was those confessions of people that had been away from the faith and not hearing confessions of devotees that had energized and moved his heart.
From that day on, I never had to say another word to him about celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. The following year, on his own initiative, he doubled the time for confession and advertised the extra time in the parish bulletin.
What made the difference?
What made the difference? It was focusing on using Divine Mercy Sunday for evangelization, instead of treating it as some type of 'party for devotees'. Remember this pastor's first reaction "No" and "I know everything about the Chaplet"? Where did he get the idea that the Feast of Mercy has anything to do with the Chaplet? What made him so agitated about Divine Mercy?
It was, most probably, from misdirected Divine Mercy devotees that have been telling priests that they have to say the Chaplet, hear their confessions on the feast, and other things that Jesus never asked us to do on that day. If Jesus wanted us to focus on the Chaplet on that day, He would have had us start the Novena on Holy Saturday, instead of Good Friday. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a very powerful prayer, but, on the Feast of Mercy, Jesus wants us to go out and bring Him souls that are in 'real' need of His mercy.
What did Jesus say to do on His feast?
Jesus told us what to do on the feast, when He revealed it to St. Faustina in diary entry # 206 "On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will “go” through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.” Notice here that Jesus said to "go" out and bring "fainting souls" to Him. Jesus wants us to go out and evangelize and to bring these souls to Him to receive His Divine Mercy.
Jesus said in diary entry # 699 “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”
Notice again that Jesus said "especially poor sinners". Jesus has not come for the righteous, but for sinners. If we only focus on organizing a 'party for devotees', with the singing of the Chaplet, in the afternoons, how is that in agreement with what Jesus is asking us to do? Isn't it mostly just devotees who attend these special devotions? Is this really the best that we can do?
We need Communion and Confession
The graces of Divine Mercy comes from the reception of Holy Communion in a state of perfect grace, plain and simple. That is why Pope John Paul II added the special Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday. Although the Chaplet is a really great prayer, it is the reception of Communion in a state of grace that will obtain for us the forgiveness of sins and punishment.
People returning to the practice of their faith will need to go to Confession and then to any Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, including the vigil Masses on the day before, to earn the graces of a complete pardon. It won't happen for them by reciting the Chaplet, and it would be very difficult for them, after being away for so long, to spend the extra time with the other devotional practices, that day, that are good, but not necessary.
If you have a pastor or a priest who has been bombarded by misdirected Divine Mercy devotees, then take the initiative and share with him this story. I would recommend, first, to pray about it in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus to guide you. You can then look at the Documents for Priests and Bishops on our website and provide him with our simple How to Celebrate Mercy Sunday tri-fold leaflet that you can download and print. You should offer to do all of the organizing so that he doesn't have to do it.
Jesus has made it simple, keep it that way
Jesus has made it very simple for us; go to Confession and receive Holy Communion! Very simple, and very effective! The Church has backed up the promise of Jesus with the special Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday and has given us 20 days to confess our sins. This, in itself, is a wonderful grace, because it allows most of us to confess our sins during Lent, in preparation, and this will allow room near Divine Mercy Sunday for those souls who have not confessed their sins, for the indulgence. In this way, priests will be hearing Confessions of people who really need to go.
Doing things this way, by allowing those that really need to confess, the time to confess, will help our priests to better appreciate what Divine Mercy Sunday is all about; evangelizing the poor souls, including the Easter-only and fallen-away Catholics that have been away from the faith a long time.
Don’t let one soul perish!
It is time to focus on saving poor sinners, right now, and in full force, before it is too late. We can’t wait another minute. How would we like to be one of those poor souls that ended up in hell for all eternity, because somebody didn't care for us enough and tell us about this great Feast of Divine Mercy?
Do we really love our neighbor as much as Jesus asked us to do? The greatest act of love and charity that we could ever do is to help our neighbor to secure his or her salvation. Divine Mercy Sunday can do this for them.
We already have a good idea what Jesus requested through St. Faustina for the Feast of Mercy: going out and bringing sinners to the feast; telling everyone about His mercy and the promise of the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment; venerating the Image of Divine Mercy; and acts of mercy, which can simply be telling everyone about Divine Mercy Sunday!
Let us do the very best that we can and watch what Jesus will do. It will simply be amazing!
Written and witnessed by Robert R. Allard, Director, Apostles of Divine Mercy www.DivineMercySunday.com
Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Message for Catholics |
After Easter? |
How to Celebrate |
| Divine Mercy Image | Theology | Chaplet | Novena | News Flash |
| Presentation | Homily Starter | Pope's Homily | News Stories |
| Join Us | Knights of Mercy Program | Image Catalog | Order Form | Links |
2014, Apostles of Divine Mercy
Contact: Robert R. Allard at 1-888-732-0722