Introduction of the Novena to The Divine Mercy

Beginning on Good Friday and ending on Easter Saturday  ~

“I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need in the hardships of life and, especially at the hour of death.

“On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls.”

“I answered, ‘Jesus, I do not know how to make this novena or which souls to bring first into Your Most Compassionate Heart.’ Jesus replied that He would tell me which souls to bring each day into His Heart.” (Diary, 1209)

[Starting tomorrow, we will begin posting each day’s Novena prayers.]

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Merciful and Loving Savior, as we are about to enter into the Holy Triduum, journeying with You for three days, beginning with the moment You entered the Upper Room, giving us the Holy Eucharist and instituting the holy priesthood, to the moment when you calmed the fear of Your disciples after Your Resurrection, please open our hearts to all that is about to unfold in Salvation History;

– with the help of Your grace, may we stand faithfully with You, in spite of our own weaknesses; and may You bless us with a share in Your own bitterness through the many crosses which we sometimes must bear, so that we may one day enjoy the sweetness of our own Easter joy with You for all eternity! Lord Jesus, we humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.” †

Anonymous

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

April 17 ~ Encourage Souls to Say the Chaplet

Theme:  The Chaplet of Mercy

“My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their soul with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one…

“Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1541)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, help me to please You by not only praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but also help me to encourage others to pray it. May many more souls avail themselves of this powerful intercessory prayer, especially in praying for the dying. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

April 17 ~ Jesus, Save Me!

Theme:  Struggle, Satan, Spiritual Warfare

“I spent the whole night with Jesus in Gethsemane. From my breast there escaped one continuous moan. A natural dying will be much easier, because then one is in agony and will die; while here, one is in agony, but cannot die. O Jesus, I never thought such suffering could exist. Nothingness: that is the reality. O Jesus, save me! I believe in You with all my heart.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1558)

“The glory of The Divine Mercy is resounding, even now, in spite of the efforts of its enemies and of Satan himself, who has a great hatred for God’s mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1659a)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of Holy Week, April 17

We Must First Taste the Bitterness in Life, in Order for Us to One Day Enjoy the Sweetness of Our Own Easter Joy.

In our Holy Week pilgrimage, on this last day before the beginning of the Paschal Triduum, a three-day feast which begins basically at sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Sunday, the Scriptures take us on a journey, reminding us that we ourselves must first taste the bitterness in life if we are to enjoy the sweetness which awaits each of us in the gift of eternal life.

Today’s First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah is the third in a series of four Servant-of-the-Lord oracles. The Suffering Servant feels the bitterness of humiliation and persecution He must undergo for the sake of God’s Word. Those He loves turn against him. They spit upon Him, degrading Him.

And in this Reading today, we hear the Servant, who is the Eternal Word speaking to Isaiah, speaking to each one of us, “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.”

This passage gives us a glimpse into what the Servant will endure, and He surrenders Himself to the will of God – for God is His help. And this passage also speaks figuratively of the cross which each of us is called upon to embrace in our own lives – a cross which illumines our own faith journey on this side of Heaven.

Even our Responsorial Psalm calls us to the cross which we are to bear, which, even in today’s world, we find many faithful souls enduring ridicule and persecution for the sake of the faith we hold dear and call our own – “For your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons.”

As a Christian people, we are reminded by both the psalmist and the prophet Isaiah of the indignities we may suffer because of our faith. And yet, it is the glory of the cross which encourages us to remain faithful; it is our faithfulness wherefrom we shall reap the sweet prize that flows from what is to come.

The Gospel, too, recalls for each of us the bitterness of Christ’s mission. Even as Jesus “reclined at table” to leave us the great gift of His on-going Presence in the Eucharist, Judas the betrayer, today from Matthew’s Gospel, plots the end of our Lord’s journey among us as the God-Man. Even Jesus must first taste the bitter in order to enjoy the sweet.

The bitterness of being rejected, the bitterness of being betrayed by family or friends, all for the sake of the witness we give to God’s Kingdom here on Earth, is the common thread which weaves itself throughout all our Readings today.

Jesus’ bitterness and ours points us to the fact that sin is still with us in the world. In our Lord’s case, the hatred of those in power sadly attracted one of the Twelve. With thirty pieces of silver, they buy a betrayal, starting the spiraling slide downwards which resulted in the terrible suffering and agonizing death which the Son of Man was to endure.

The sin of Judas against our Lord was his failure to love. Judas failed to love God, he failed to love his neighbor and, as his later suicide reveals, he failed to love even himself. How sour the taste of that ultimate betrayal! For Judas, there would never be a “sweet” end – only the bitterness of trying to escape from his own guilt.

But it is in the strength of our faith today and the love we carry within us – for the God who has given us the gift of life and a share in His own Divine Nature – which enables us to make the words within the Book of Isaiah our own, “The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.”

And as we hear in today’s Responsorial, “…because zeal for your house consumes me…” – it is a zeal which enables all who remain faithful to look forward to the sweetness which shall one day be ours.

On this, our last day as we are about to solemnly embrace the events of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, let us journey with Jesus – sharing in the disheartening bitterness and overwhelming sadness which was His to bear – all culminating with the wondrous and indescribable joy of Easter Sunday!

For it is in this sharing that we begin to better understand our own journey of faith – a pilgrimage wherein we, too, must first taste the bitterness in life, in order for us to one day enjoy the sweetness of our own Easter joy! †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)
  • “For your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons.” (Psalm 69:8-9)
  • “Because zeal for your house consumes me, I am scorned by those who scorn you.” (Psalm 69:10)
  • “The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7)
  • “See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, take heart! For the LORD hears the poor, does not spurn those in bondage.” (Psalm 69:33-34)
  • “But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of [evildoers].” (1 Peter 3:14)
  • “Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:3)
  • “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:19c-20)
  • “We must endure many trials before entering God’s kingdom.” (Acts 14:21)
  • “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12a)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence

and trust in Your Divine Mercy,

and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings

which bring immense goodness

to our souls and that of Your Church.

“Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart,

and to humble ourselves beneath Your Cross,

as we climb the mountain of holiness,

carrying our cross that leads to Heavenly glory.

“May we receive You with great faith

and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us,

as You desire, for Your greater glory.

“O Jesus, Most Adorable Heart

and Eternal Fountain of Divine Love,

may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty

of Your Heavenly Father. Amen.”

Saint Padre Pio

Saint of the Day ~ April 17

SAINT STEPHEN HARDING (c.1050-1134), abbot and co-founder

Today, the Church honors Saint Stephen Harding, a servant of God who truly embraced the monastic way of life, devoting himself to prayer and faithful service to the Church.

Stephen was born at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, England, about the middle of the eleventh century. He received his early education in the monastery in Sherborne and afterwards studied in Paris and Rome.

Upon his return from Rome, he visited the monastery of Molesme in Burgundy, France, under the abbacy of Saint Robert of Molesme. Impressed by its leaders, Stephen joined the community. After a few years, Stephen, together with the leaders and twenty other monks, established a more austere monastery in Citeaux, in the region of Côte-d’Or, France. In the year 1110, Stephen was elected abbot.

Stephen drew up the famous “La Charte de Charité [Charter of Charity]”, which became the basis for Cistercian monasticism. However, very few men were joining the community, and it seemed destined to die out, until the man who was to be known as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux joined the community in 1112 with 30 companions.

The next year, Stephen founded another community at La Ferté in France, and, before his death, the number of monasteries grew to 70 (thirteen of which he personally established), of which 55 were in France itself. By the end of the 12th century, there were 500 monasteries throughout Europe. The Order’s Charter was formally approved by Pope Callistus II in 1119.

In 1133, Stephen, now being old, infirm, and almost blind, resigned the post of abbot; and on March 28, 1134, he died and his remains were interred in the monastery at Cîteaux, the place where his journey of faith had truly begun to mature.

We commemorate his feastday in the Roman calendar on April 17.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, catholic.org/saints and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Religious ~ abbot)

“Lord, in Your abbot, Saint Stephen, You give an example of the Gospel lived to perfection. Help us to follow him by keeping before us the things of Heaven amid all the changes of this world.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”