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

January 22 ~ A Burning Desire to Save Souls

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“The Lord said to me, ‘The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1397)

“March 25, 1938. Today, I saw the suffering Lord Jesus. He leaned down toward me and whispered softly, ‘My daughter, help Me to save sinners.’ Suddenly, a burning desire to save souls entered my soul. When I recovered my senses, I knew just how I was to help souls, and I prepared myself for greater sufferings.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1645)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I want to respond to Your “mortal sadness” caused by the loss of each soul. Please give me a “burning desire to save souls” like that of Saint Faustina. Give me the graces to even suffer for the conversion of sinners. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 22 ~ Praise the Lord’s Mercy

Theme:  Mercy

“All you souls, praise the Lord’s mercy by trusting in His mercy all your life and especially at the hour of your death.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 598b)

“And fear nothing, dear soul, whoever you are; the greater the sinner, the greater his right to Your mercy, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 598c)

“O Jesus, I wish to glorify Your mercy on behalf of thousands of souls. I know very well, O my Jesus, that I am to keep telling souls about Your goodness, about Your incomprehensible mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 598d)

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Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, January 22

When We Are Able to Trust in God Without Reservation, It Is Only Then That We Shall Find True Peace and Joy in His Unconditional Love for You and Me, for He Truly Is Our Only Refuge and Salvation.

“My refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I trust…” – words which we just read from today’s Responsorial Psalm, words which speak to us of faith and hope, confidence and trust in a God who truly is our refuge and our fortress, a God who is our deliverer in whom we place all our trust.

One of the great joys I realize in this Evangelization Apostolate of God’s Divine Love and Mercy is being able to speak about the immense Love which God has for all of His children. His is a Love which is truly beyond all manner of human description or understanding. His is a Love which is truly infinite and unfathomable both here and in eternity, for it is a Love which is unconditional. In other words, He loves us even if we fail to love Him, even if we should choose to reject His Love as we walk through life.

With all this being said, what can we say of God’s Love that the human mind can understand? For you and me, it is a Love which accompanies us as we journey through life with all of its immense joys and moments of untold happiness; but, most especially, it is a Love which strengthens and sustains us when we find ourselves journeying through some very profound and sorrowful times, especially when we are faced with crosses which can, at times, seem tremendously heavy and unbearable.

For it is His Love which strengthens us and enables us to accept the burdens which we sometimes face in this life. It is His Love which carries us upon His shoulders when the trials and tribulations of life seem too heavy for us to bear alone.

The faith of David, which we find in our First Reading, was such that he knew he could depend upon God to see him through the darkness which was facing him head-on – a Philistine of such stature that his very presence on the battlefield would cause fear in the ranks of whatever enemy he might be facing on any particular day.

Even Saul was fearful of Goliath’s ability; and in his fear, he failed to trust in God. David, on the other hand, with a heart open to God’s providential Love, replied, “The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”

Do you and I confront our fears in life with an unwavering trust in God, or do we sometimes find ourselves standing like Saul, not truly letting go and letting God work through us?

Even in our Gospel today, we become witnesses to the unfolding confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. The average Jewish citizen would feel intimidated and fearful of the Pharisees, knowing that anyone who conducted himself or herself contrary to the Pharisaic way of thinking could find themselves charged with some violation against the Mosaic Law and be placed on trial before a Jewish tribunal.

Yet, in the midst of the tension which was existing in the synagogue that day, this poor man with a withered hand trusted enough in Jesus to believe that listening to and following our Lord’s request was far more important than succumbing to the fear I am sure he was interiorizing at the time with the Pharisees looking on and judging.

Our trust in God’s loving care, which He has for you and me, allows each of us to feel hope, even in the midst of the anxieties which we experience in this life. For it is God’s Love for His children which overcomes the greatest anxiety and illumines the deepest darkness that can reside within the hearts of man. And God’s Love is a gift unreservedly offered and freely given by our Creator to a world which so badly needs to feel loved.

But since God’s Love is unreservedly offered and freely given, it does require one response from us – that we make a choice: that we freely choose to open our hearts and accept His Love, that we freely choose to embrace His Love and all that His Love entails!

And what does His Love require of us? Love of God and love of neighbor – two surprisingly profound ways of personal behavior which seem so simple on the surface, and yet, something which the world, as a whole, seems unable to accomplish – or even to grasp for that matter!

To love others selflessly and to trust in God unconditionally are two aspects of human behavior which are so difficult for many people to embrace, much less accept.

To trust – and I mean to trust completely in the God who gives us life, in the God who gave us His Only Begotten Son – is to empty oneself completely of ego, to empty oneself completely of pride and self-importance – to let go of what constrains us and what controls us, and to allow the God of Mercy, the God of Love, the God of Compassion to truly take over.

Is it easy? No, of course not! What it does take is a deepening faith and a growing awareness, a growing desire on our part to be ever closer to God – a relationship which God wishes to share with each and every single one of us through the workings of His Most Holy Spirit.

As you and I grow in our personal relationship of love with our Creator, with our Redeemer and with our Sanctifier, may we learn to truly let go of all that inhibits us, of all that prevents us from trusting in the only One who truly knows us better than we know ourselves.

For when we are able to trust in God without reservation, it is only then that we shall find true peace and joy in His unconditional Love for you and me.

In the end, after everything is all said and done, it is up to us to open our hearts to all that He offers, for He truly is our only Refuge and Deliverer – who gives us hope, who give us love, who gives us our salvation!

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Blessed be the LORD, my rock…My safeguard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I take refuge.” (Psalm 144:1b, 2abc)
  • “[The LORD] will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)
  • “David continued: ‘The LORD who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’” (1 Samuel 17:37a)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy…May your mercy be upon us Lord, as we place our trust in you.” (Psalm 33:18, 22)
  • “God indeed is my salvation; I am confident and unafraid. For the LORD is my strength and my might, and he has been my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
  • “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)
  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1)

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Prayer for the Day

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Psalm 23 (Psalm of the Good Shepherd)

Saint of the Day ~ January 22

SAINT VINCENT of SARAGOSSA (?-304), deacon and martyr – Patron of  Lisbon, Portugal and vine dressers

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Vincent of Saragossa, a deacon who fearlessly preached the word of God during a time of great persecution under Roman rule, and who is also considered one of the most renowned martyrs in all of Spain.

What we know of Saint Vincent is found in the writings of a poet by the name of Prudentius which were read in the churches of Africa near the end of the fourth century, and also spoken of by Saint Augustine in one of his sermons.

Vincent was born at Saragossa, Spain. Under the direction of Bishop Valerius, who was bishop of Saragossa, Vincent studied and was ordained a deacon of the Church. He was commissioned to do the preaching in the diocese, since the bishop suffered from a speech impediment.

Vincent and his bishop were arrested by Dacian, the Roman governor of Spain, because they refused to comply with Emperor Diocletian’s edict of 303, which forbade any Christian worship in the empire and also mandated the exclusive worship of Roman gods. They were dragged in chains to the city of Valencia and kept in prison for trial.

In time, Bishop Valerius was banished by Dacian, but Vincent was subjected to many cruel torments. Tradition tells us that he endured brutal scourgings in the presence of several witnesses; he was stretched on the rack; he was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks, and seared with hot metal plates, together with salt being rubbed into his wounds. Upon being returned to his prison cell, the floor was heavily strewn with shards of broken glass and pottery fragments to inflict further torment upon his body.

When all the means of torture failed to effect its desired results, Vincent was placed on a soft bed, in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy (the renunciation of his faith in Jesus Christ). But strengthened by his faith in our Lord and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit overcoming all efforts to bring him to apostatize. In the year 304, persevering to the very end, Vincent gained for himself the Heavenly crown of martyrdom.

Legend tells us that Vincent’s body was thrown out to be devoured by vultures, but was defended by a raven. Dacian, the Roman governor, had the body cast into the sea, but it came to shore and was found and buried by a pious Christian widow. After peace was restored to the Church, a chapel was built over his remains outside the walls of Valencia.

Listed in the Roman Martyrology, we commemorate Saint Vincent’s feastday on January 22.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Vincent)

“Eternal Father, You gave Saint Vincent the courage to endure torture and death for the Gospel; fill us with Your Spirit and strengthen us in Your Love.

“We ask 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.”

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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“O Glorious and Eternal God, You have filled our hearts with the gift of faith, believing in Your unfathomable Love and trusting in Your limitless Mercy which You offer to each and every one of us, Your children;

– may we always be filled with a true humility of heart, never standing in judgment of Your children through appearance or demeanor, as we continue to grow daily in our intimate and loving relationship with You. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

January 21 ~ Be Not Afraid

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“Today, I have heard these words; ‘My daughter, delight of My Heart, it is with pleasure that I look into your soul. I bestow many graces only because of you. I also withhold My punishments only because of you. You restrain Me, and I cannot vindicate the claims of My justice. You bind My hands with your love.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1193)

“Today I heard a voice in my soul: ‘Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1396)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, please fill my heart with love of You like that of Saint Faustina, so that You may be delighted and grant many graces as I beg for mercy for souls. May many more sinners come to know of Your Divine Mercy while it is still time for mercy. (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.

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