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

January 15 ~ A Way to Beg

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“…after Communion, I heard the voice saying, ‘My daughter, look into the abyss of My mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of Mine. Do it in this way: Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls; I yearn for souls, My daughter. 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.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 206)

My prayer response:

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching us a way to beg for Your Mercy upon souls. As the Church, we, Your Body, immerse them in the ocean of Your Mercy – “baptizing” them in Your Mercy. May we plunge all fainting souls in the world into the abyss of Your Divine Mercy. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 15 ~ You Surpass All Mothers

Theme:  Trust

“…beyond all abandonment I trust, and in spite of my own feeling I trust, and I am being completely transformed into trust – often in spite of what I feel.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1489a)

“…above all things, I trust in You, Jesus, for You are unchangeable. My moods change, but You are always the same, full of mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1489b)

“I entrust myself to You as a little child does to its mother’s love. Even if all things were to conspire against me, and even if the ground were to give way under my feet, I would be at peace close to Your Heart. You are always a most tender mother to me, and You surpass all mothers.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1490)

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Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, January 15

Prayer Involves Not Only Conversing with Our God, but Also Setting Aside Quiet Time, So That We Allow Ourselves the Opportunity of Listening to What God Has to Say to Us.

In our First Reading today, Eli advises Samuel to respond to God’s voice by replying, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”

In the world in which we live today, a world of electronic media and communication and instant news, where we find ourselves inundated with all sorts of information from across the globe, it seems that so many different sources are competing with each other for our attention, in order to make themselves heard.

Even on a personal level, I am sure that there are times when you and I have been conversing with someone, and, before we can even finish our sentence, they interrupt to share their own thought or finish our sentence for us.

Or perhaps you are in the middle of making an important point with someone, and their attention is pulled away as they answer their cell phone, send an email or reply to a text message. And I am sure that we have all watched someone we are talking to nod and even mutter “uh huh” – knowing all the while they didn’t really hear a word we just said.

In fact, most of us are probably guilty, at one time or another, of listening to others in much the same way. When someone is talking to either you or me, do we stop what we are doing and turn our full attention to that person?

The art of listening is simply listening with a commitment to hear exactly what another person is saying or intending to say. And this art of listening is especially important when it comes to our relationship with God. In the Letter of Saint James, there is a verse that reads, “Know this, my brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak…”

Speaking to and listening to God is what we do in prayer, since prayer itself is a form of communication, for it entails the raising of one’s heart and mind to God in both praise and petition.

But, as with any communication, prayer involves not only conversing with our God, but also setting aside quiet time, so that we allow ourselves the opportunity of listening to what God has to say to us.

The ability of listening to God speak to us requires the same consideration that we would give to other’s – quieting our minds and removing our own notions of self-importance. Listening, on our part, requires a sense of humility and an open heart, receptive to what God is saying to us.

This ability to listen does not mean that we expect to hear a Divine Voice, as Samuel did in today’s First Reading, but it does enable us to be open to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Listening also enables us to reflect upon the enlightenments with which He may wish to fill us.

Communication with God is a two-way street. When we speak to God in prayer, whether our prayers are formalized such as the Lord’s Prayer or the Hail Mary which we may have learned when we were very young, or an informal conversation from the heart, God turns His full attention to us and hears our every word. And when we are done speaking, we need to spend quiet time allowing God to respond to us.

When it comes to listening to God speak to us in Sacred Scripture, I personally find it helpful to mentally place myself at the scene of whatever is occurring, visualizing the interaction between the principal characters about whom we read – in the case of today’s Gospel Reading, standing on the doorstep of the home of Saint Peter and experiencing the interaction between Jesus and the crowds of the sick and suffering who were reaching out for our Lord’s healing touch and consoling words.

And, even though it is not mentioned in today’s Reading, I am sure there were many who were reaching out to God in prayer while waiting their turn, imploring His Mercy because of the suffering they were enduring.

Do we not do the same in our own lives? With the gift of faith which we live daily, do we not ask God to heal us or those whom we love? Do we not ask for the grace of strengthening, so that we are better able to bear our crosses in whatever form they may take?

And when we place our crosses next to our Lord’s on the hill of Calvary, uniting our sufferings to His, this then becomes the most grace-filled and intimate moment in conversation with our Merciful Father, for it is then that we truly unite ourselves to His will for us in our daily lives!

And we are reminded in our Gospel today of the importance that Our Lord Himself placed on prayer when we read, “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.”

Even Jesus, the Son of God, in the midst of His public ministry, would find quiet time in prayer, realizing the need for silence in order for Him to spend quality time with His Father, speaking and listening to Him, all the while staying attuned and uniting Himself to His Father’s will.

Listening to God, whether it be in the words of Sacred Scripture, the teachings of our faith, or even in the enlightenments we receive and upon which we privately reflect – they all help to keep us from straying or setting off on the wrong paths in our daily pilgrimage through life.

In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we read, “Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me…To do your will, O my God, is my delight.” By virtue of our Baptism, God calls each of us to be His disciples, to be His prophets in a world, in a culture today which no longer wishes to listen to what God has to say.

In the quiet recesses of our hearts, may we hear God’s voice, and may we respond as Samuel did so long ago, “Speak, LORD, for your servant IS listening.”

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Scripture for the Day

  • “[Eli said to Samuel,] ‘…if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’’” (1 Samuel 3:9a)
  • “Rising very early before dawn, [Jesus] left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
  • “Know this, my beloved brethren: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak…” (James 1:19)
  • “All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.” (Psalm 91:15)
  • “The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29)
  • “Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!” (Isaiah 58:9ab)
  • “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
  • “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
  • “Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me…To do your will, O my God, is my delight.” (Psalm 42:7ab, 9a)

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Prayer for the Day

“Thank You, O God for all the graces

Which unceasingly You lavish upon me,

Graces which enlighten me with the brilliance of the sun,

For by them You show me the sure way.

“Thank You, O Lord for creating me,

For calling me into being from nothingness,

For imprinting Your divinity on my soul,

The work of sheer merciful love.

“Thank you O God, for Holy Baptism

Which engrafted me into Your family,

A gift great beyond all thought or expression

Which transforms my soul…

“Thank You, O God, for all the inspirations

That Your goodness lavishes upon me,

For the interior lights given my soul,

Which the heart senses, but words cannot express.

“Thank You, O Holy Trinity, for the vastness of the graces

Which You have lavished on me unceasingly through life.

My gratitude will intensify as the eternal dawn rises,

When, for the first time, I sing to Your glory.”

Saint Faustina (Diary, 1286)

Saint of the Day ~ January 15

SAINT PAUL THE HERMIT (c.228-342), holy man – Patron saint of weavers and the clothing industry

Today, the Church honors Saint Paul the Hermit (also called Saint Paul of Thebes), who is reported to be the first person to embrace the solitary, hermitic life style, devoting himself to a life of prayerful contemplation.

As one researches the history of this holy man, it is unclear how much is fable and how much is fact. Saint Jerome wrote Paul’s biography, and Paul is traditionally considered to be the first saint living the solitary life.

Paul was born about the year 228 in Alexandria, Egypt, of wealthy and noble parents and orphaned at the age of fifteen. During the persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperor Decius in 250, and fearing betrayal by family members, young Paul fled into the desert in Thebes by the Red Sea and lived in a cave on the mountain-side. His plan was to return once the persecution ended, but the sweetness of solitude and heavenly contemplation convinced him to remain.

Saint Jerome tells us that Paul lived in the cave for ninety years in prayerful solitude, constant penance, and contemplation of God. A nearby spring gave him water to drink; a palm tree furnished him clothing and nourishment. Legend has it that, after 21 years of solitude, a raven began bringing him half a loaf of bread each day. Without knowing what was happening in the world, Paul prayed that the world would become a better place.

Before his death, he was discovered by Saint Anthony the Abbot who spread the news about Paul’s holiness. It is said that Paul died at the age of 113 on January 15, 342, and was buried by the cave where he found holiness in solitude by Anthony on one of his return trips to visit Paul.

The story of Saint Paul is captured in the coat-of-arms of the Order of the Pauline Fathers, who chose Saint Paul the First Hermit as its patron and patriarch, and thus took the name “Pauline Fathers, Monastic Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit”.

We commemorate his feastday on January 15; he is also commemorated in both the Coptic and Armenian rites.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, newadvent.org and paulinefathers.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Pauline Fathers, Monastic Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit)

“O God, who willed that Saint Paul achieve a high degree of sanctity through a life of solitude, prayer and penance in the desert, grant that through his intercession, we, who are striving to develop in ourselves the spirit of prayer and service, may come ever closer to You in love.

“We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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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“Heavenly and Eternal Father, please look upon all Your children with Your Divine Love, waiting patiently for our return to You as Your prodigal children who have lost our way through this life;

– no matter where You may find us in life’s journey, please always guide us by Your Holy Spirit so that we may grow in our longing for You, as we yearn for Your Love and trust and depend upon Your Mercy in our daily lives. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

January 14 ~ Ask for Much

Theme:  Trust ~ Distrust

 [Jesus speaking to Sister Faustina] (Continued)

“I rejoice that [souls] ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1578c)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I desire to please You and have You rejoice as I ask, seek and knock for more and more of Your Mercy, not only for myself but for those who “narrow their hearts” and ask for so little. Please expand all of our hearts, so we can trust more and receive more. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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