Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 10 ~ To Adore Your Mercy

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him. This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1186)

“All for You, Jesus, I desire to adore Your mercy with every beat of my heart and, to the extent that I am able, to encourage souls to trust in that mercy, as You Yourself have commanded me, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1234)

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Meditation for the Day

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 10

With God As Our Father, We Are All Brothers and Sisters to One Another; and in the Eyes of God, Each and Every Person Is Our Neighbor – Worthy of Our Love, Worthy of Our Mercy, Worthy of Our Compassion and Understanding.

“But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”

There are few parables in the Gospels more familiar than the one we call “The Good Samaritan”. The dialogue that leads to the parable is important because it emphasizes that eternal life is not simply a matter of each of us loving God, but is also a matter of the love we have and exhibit for our neighbor.

This story also shows how we, as human beings –with our many imperfections – try to find ways to define who our neighbor is, in order to satisfy our prejudices and our inconveniences. And throughout the whole of human history, wars have been fought over human prejudices, and genocides have been perpetrated as a result of both fear and hatred.

Even in our own “backyard”, the poor and the disadvantaged are shunned and ignored because some see them as a blight and a social and economic disgrace in a land of plenty, a land in which resources abound.

Our Lord in today’s Gospel presents us with a Truth which makes many people uncomfortable. Even the legal scholar, when asked by Jesus, “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”, could not respond with the word “Samaritan”. Instead, because of prejudicial feelings, he replied, “The one who treated him with mercy.”

In the beginning, we hear, in his questioning and counter-questioning with Jesus, this scholar of the law revealing a deep sensitivity to the Word of God. Unlike most of the other experts in Judaism, who were among Jesus’ most bitter opponents, this one got to the heart of the entire plan of God with two simple commands – love for God and love for neighbor.

In his answer, this scholar demonstrated what Moses told the Israelites centuries earlier in our First Reading today from the Book of Deuteronomy – the  Word “is very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts” – not something that is far away or cannot be found.

He showed that the way of God is written, almost genetically if you will, within the impulses of our human nature. And, for this, the scholar won Jesus’ approval!

And today’s Gospel message is not hard for us to understand, either. It is not a complex set of theological formulas. We do not need years of education to get to its core. God has written His Truth in our hearts and in the depths of our conscience. We all know His Truth when it comes to loving God, and loving one another as we love ourselves!

But there is more to this passage than a conversation between Jesus and this learned scribe. Jesus not only told him that he was on the right track, he also said: “…do this and you will live.” And when it comes to caring for our neighbor, our Lord says, “Go and do likewise.”

Evidently, it is not enough for us to understand God’s Truth. Our understanding should lead us to embracing and living the Truth as well. As a result, today’s Gospel is just as demanding as it is simple!

The question then begs to be asked, just as the scribe asked today – who is our neighbor? The answer – everyone!

For people who suffer from prejudice – whether the prejudicial thinking is based upon racial bigotry or religious or ethnic intolerance – this concept of accepting everyone as our neighbor is very difficult to swallow.

And yet, it is for this very reason that our Lord gives us this parable! In essence, our Lord is teaching us through today’s Gospel that saying we are Christian does not mean that we are guaranteed eternal life.

If we knowingly turn our backs on those who are in most need, are we acting as Christ would act, or are we acting more like the priest or the Levite who went out of their way to walk down the opposite side of the road?

When you and I reflect upon the faith which we have been taught, did not Christ take upon Himself our humanity so that He might teach us what it truly means to be Christ-like in a society where greed and self-interest is not only popular, but accepted and oftentimes encouraged?

And did not Christ reach out to the sick and the infirm, the sinful and the leprous, in order to teach us the true meaning of selfless love and charity, the true meaning of compassion and mercy?

Sadly, we live in a society and in a culture which prides itself on self-centeredness and ego, a society which prides itself on selfishness and personal gain – oftentimes at the expense of the less fortunate, oftentimes at the expense of someone else becoming hurt.

There are many societies throughout the world which no longer wish to embrace the Christian message. There are many cultures throughout the world which find it an encumbrance and a burden to endorse and embrace the very concept of selflessness and compassionate mercy towards others.

They have chosen to forget and ignore the God who is the true Giver of all good gifts, the God who has given to each one of us the gift of life – all because God Loves us!

They have chosen to forget what Paul tells us today in our Second Reading from his Letter to the Colossians, “Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.”

And it is in His Preeminence that He calls each of us to be like Himself – in all that we think, in all that we say, in all that we do! When prejudicial thinking causes us to mistreat another fellow human being, or when such thinking causes us to take no action in caring for their needs, especially when they are suffering due to society’s ignorance, then we, as a society, have failed! We have forgotten what it truly means to be Christ-like and loving towards one another.

Our Lord is saying to each one of us today, “Go and do likewise.” In other words, become an extension of our Lord’s voice in today’s world; show to each other the compassion, the love, the mercy and understanding that Jesus Himself would show.

“I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

There was a time when I used to work with the homeless, those who are marginalized in our society – those who have been labeled as “invisible”, who suffer due to lack of food, lack of clothing, lack of shelter, lack of medical care.

The one thing that I learned, while working with them, is that every human being is deserving of love, every human being is a child of God and deserving of dignity and respect, no matter what their state in life may be.

If we are to respond to Jesus’ first Commandment, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” – and if we truly call ourselves Christian, then how can we not respond to the other – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I oftentimes ask myself the question, especially after seeing the evening news or reading the headlines in the newspaper or an online website, “Why is it so difficult for people to love their neighbor? Why is it so difficult for some to find peace in their hearts and to share the joy of that peace with those who are less fortunate, or with those who are different from us?”

I am sure that we have all heard the age-old expression, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” And this brings to mind another saying which we take from the acronym “WWJD” – “What would Jesus do?” He showed us what He would do countless times in the Gospels – He reached out with love and compassionate mercy time and time again!

With God as our Father, we are all brothers and sisters to one another! May we never forget that each and every person, no matter what their race, creed, color, political or religious persuasion may be – in the eyes of God, each and every person is our neighbor, worthy of our love, worthy of our mercy, worthy of our compassion and understanding!

May we see in each other Jesus Christ Himself, and may each person see Him in us – by the way we open our hearts and by the way we love.

Who is my neighbor? Everyone! For we are all children of the One Eternal Father!

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “[A scholar of the law said], ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ [Jesus] replied to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.’(Luke 10:27-28)
  • “But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10:29)
  • ‘Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?’ He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’(Luke 10:36-37)
  • “For this command which I am giving you today is not too wondrous or remote for you…No, it is something very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11, 14)
  • “So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:12-13)
  • “Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:15, 17, 18b)
  • “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13:15)
  • “Jesus replied, ‘The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’(Mark 12:29-31)

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Prayer for the Day

“Eternal and Most Loving Father,
I submit my entire self to Your Holy will.
All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;
living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.

“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,
who guides me to live a life of righteousness,
enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,
so that I may give my best in service to Your children.

“Forgive me for my past failures,
rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.
In selfishness, I held back Your Love
and fell short in living the virtue of charity.

“Fill my heart with humility,
so that I may always fulfill Your will,
imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,
giving love without counting the cost.

“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace
for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,
in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,
and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”

Anonymous

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 Loving and Eternal Father, in Your Divine Providence for Your children, You set into motion the wonders of Your creation, so that we would be born into this life here on Earth and grow in our knowledge and love of You, so that, with the help of Your grace, our names may be found written in Your Kingdom forever;

– through the indwelling of Your Most Holy Spirit, may we always open our hearts to all the beautiful signs of Your Love which surround us on a daily basis, and may we truly recognize our Lord Jesus who eternally stands before us, so that our lives may be filled with a truly enduring peace and lasting joy. We humbly pray this with hearts filled with faith in the profound wonder of Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

July 3 ~ Novena for the Feast of Mercy

Theme:  Prayers and Novenas of Saint Faustina

“November 5, 1934. One morning, when it was my duty to open the gate to let out our people who deliver baked goods, I entered the little chapel to visit Jesus for a minute and to renew the intentions of the day. Today, Jesus I offer You all my sufferings, mortifications and prayers for the intention of the Holy Father, so that He may approve the Feast of Mercy. But Jesus, I have one more word to say to You; I am very surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?

“And Jesus said to me, ‘And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.

‘Make a novena for the Holy Father’s intention. It should consist of thirty-three acts; that is, repetition that many times of the short prayer – which I have taught you – to The Divine Mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 341)

“O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 309)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, now that the Feast of Mercy has been officially declared as a Feastday for the whole Church, may it be understood and celebrated by Your children each year. May the Feast of Mercy be an occasion of a flood of mercy poured out upon the whole world, a world which is so desperately in need of Your Divine Mercy! (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 3 ~ The Yearning of My Soul

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“O eternal God, how ardently I desire to glorify this greatest of Your attributes; namely, Your unfathomable mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 835)

“Nothing can still the yearning of my soul. I long for You, O my Creator and eternal God! Neither celebrations nor beautiful hymns soothe my soul; rather, they make me yearn all the more. At the very mention of Your Name, my spirit springs toward You, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 850)

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Meditation for the Day

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 3

It Is Only in the Name of Jesus Christ in Whom We Rejoice and Where We Find Our Lasting Joy and Enduring Peace; It Is Only in His Most Holy Name Where We Prayerfully Find Our Names Written in the Book of Life in Heaven.

In today’s Responsorial, we hear the words of our psalmist cry out to God with a song of joy, “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, ‘How tremendous are your deeds!’”

Which of us reading this meditation cannot feel the wonder of the faith with which we have been blessed? For it is a faith which nourishes us with the Word of God and the Sacraments! It is a faith which teaches and guides us along the pathways of life!

It is a faith which strengthens us in those times when we find ourselves overwhelmed with sadness and despair due to sickness, death, loneliness, even the distress felt in times of financial difficulties!

Our Lord says to each one of us in today’s Gospel, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” And this Kingdom is one in which our God – the God who created us, the God who redeemed us and the God who continuously enlightens and sanctifies us – truly understands our human condition, for He is no stranger to all that we endure in this valley of tears in which we find ourselves traveling.

And this God of ours is One in whom Paul took great comfort and solace in both knowing and professing throughout all his travels as an Apostle to the Gentiles. For we read near the end of his Letter to the Galatians, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

In the love which filled Paul’s heart for the Savior of the world, whom he had come to know and in whom he came to believe and adore, Paul spent his life proclaiming the only Truth which truly matters – that it is only in Christ Jesus where we find our salvation, that it is only in the Eternal Son of God where we find our true and everlasting peace and joy!

Paul’s boasting was his way of rejoicing in all that he had come to understand – a God who gave to all His children the opportunity of becoming co-heirs with Christ in His Heavenly Kingdom –

– a God who loves His children so much that He was willing to take our flesh upon Himself in the Person of the Incarnate Word, in order to teach us about the profoundness of God’s indescribable Love and limitless Mercy, and so that He might offer Himself up to His Father as the unblemished, Sacrificial Lamb for our redemption, in order that we “…might have life and have it more abundantly.”

How could we not boast in the same faith that we share with Paul, and all the Apostles and disciples who came to know and believe that we are truly adopted children of our Eternal and Most Loving Father, that we are truly brothers and sisters of our Divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?!

And by the power of His Cross, you and I have become a “new creation”, set free from the grip of sin and death. For it is our psalmist who reminds us today, “O God, how tremendous are your deeds!”

Even the seventy-two disciples, whom Christ sent out two-by-two to prepare the way for the harvest our Lord was about to effect, returned rejoicing in all that they accomplished in the Name that is above every other name!

And, our Lord responded by saying, “…do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

When you and I look at our lives and all the journeys we have traveled from the moment we were born, as we reflect upon our joys and our sorrows, our loves and our disappointments, as we ponder all our successes and failures on this side of eternity as we continue our journey through this vale of tears, nothing matters EXCEPT how we have lived our relationship with Jesus Christ.

For even in all our distresses, in all our trials and difficulties, our God has always been there – consoling and comforting us, lifting us up, strengthening us, encouraging us to continue to trust in His compassionate Mercy – so that we could move forward through life in His Love, loving others selflessly as God loves us.

For we read from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah today that God reaches out to each one of us, encouraging us with the words “as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”, for it is in God where we find our true consolation, our true solace – not as the world gives, but only as He can give.

In the cultural environment in which we live today, the world awaits us with undue pressures, placing demands upon our time and our well-being, burdening us with responsibilities which can oftentimes take away what little peace and contentment we may have.

Yet, we take solace in God’s Love who nourishes and strengthens us with His Word and Sacrament, wherein, if we open our hearts in trust and surrender our will to His, we begin to find and realize the only peace which truly matters in all that we experience throughout life’s journey.

Our Lord says to us in John’s Gospel, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

If we have truly fostered within ourselves an intimate and loving relationship, a right relationship with our Savior and our God, then we truly have nothing to fear, and everything for which to hope!

For it is in Christ, and Christ alone, where we find our lasting joy and enduring peace! It is only in His Name in whom we rejoice; it is only in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ where we prayerfully find our names written in the Book of Life in Heaven.

All of this is made available to us, not by anything we have done, but by the salvation earned for us through our Lord Jesus when He offered himself up to His Father on the Cross – all out of His unfathomable and indescribable Love which He has for you and me.

In our personal prayer and in our deepening resolve to live our faith and to embrace our hope and trust in God’s Loving Presence within us, let us go forward in the world which awaits us outside our homes and our churches, and let us “boast…in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Let us boast in His kindness and His Infinite Love! Let us together sing out the words of our psalmist, rejoicing in the strength of our faith, Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise…‘How tremendous are your deeds!’”

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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

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Scripture for the Day

  • “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” (Luke 10:9b)
  • “But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
  • “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
  • “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16-17)
  • “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)
  • “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a)
  • “The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.’ Jesus said…‘do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’(Luke 10:17, 20)
  • “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13a)
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
  • “Only those will enter [the New Jerusalem] whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27b)
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
  • “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing of his glorious name; give him glorious praise. Say to God: ‘How awesome your deeds!’” (Psalm 66:2-3a)

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Prayer for the Day

“Almighty and Most Merciful God,
You have renewed the face of the Earth.
Your Church throughout the world
sings You a new song,
announcing Your wonders to all.

“Lord Jesus, through a virgin,
You have brought forth a new birth in our world;
through Your miracles, a new power;
through Your suffering, a new patience;
in Your Resurrection, a new hope;
and in Your Ascension, new majesty.

“May each of us one day share in the glory of Your Majesty
as we gaze upon the beauty of Your Face,
where we shall come to know You as You truly are:
All-Holy, All-Powerful, All-Loving, All-Merciful.
For it is in our knowledge of You
which shall fill us with a lasting joy and an enduring peace. Amen.”

cf. Psalm-Prayer (Roman Breviary)

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 Father, through the Infinite Love and limitless Mercy which You offer to each and every one of us, Your children, You sent us Your Only-Begotten Son, who took upon Himself our sinful nature so that we may be saved from slavery to sin;

– help us to live our faith through the virtues of humility and love, so that we may embrace the freedom which our Lord Jesus offers to each and every one of us through the victory of His Holy Cross. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

June 26 ~ You Are in My Heart

Theme:  The United Hearts of Jesus and Saint Faustina

“During vespers [Evening Prayer], I heard these words: ‘My daughter, I want to repose in your heart, because many souls have thrown Me out of their hearts today. I have experienced sorrow unto death.’ I tried to comfort the Lord, by offering Him my love a thousand times over. I felt, within my soul, a great disgust for sin.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 866)

“27 [May 1937]. Corpus Christi. During prayer, I heard these words: ‘My daughter, let your heart be filled with joy. I, the Lord, am with you. Fear nothing. You are in My Heart.’ At that moment, I knew the great majesty of God, and I understood that nothing could be compared with one single perception of God. Outward greatness dwindles like a speck of dust before one act of a deeper knowledge of God.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1133)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I welcome You into my heart. May my heart be a consolation to You today as You fill me with Your joy. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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