Novena to the Divine Mercy ~ Day 8

Eighth Day

[Jesus] “Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.” (Diary, 1226)

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“Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

“From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire rises a plaint [plea] to Your mercy, and they receive comfort, refreshment, relief in the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

“Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most Sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly Beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion.” (Diary, 1227)

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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“Lord Jesus, You who are our Most Merciful and Loving Savior, with the help of Your grace, please help us become a better people, to be more Christ-like in the life of faith we live each day;

– and may our relationship with You help us to live our Christian discipleship with love for each other, truly emulating The Divine Mercy which You give to each of us, all in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

April 8 ~ Complete Pardon

Theme:  The Feast of Mercy

‘I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Mercy.’ Then He said to me, ‘My daughter, fear nothing. I am always with you, even if it seems to you that I am not. Your humility draws Me down from My lofty throne, and I unite Myself closely with you.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1109)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, draw all souls, especially poor sinners, to turn to Your Divine Mercy on the Feast of Mercy and receive complete pardon! Please help us to fear nothing and place our complete trust in You. (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 8 ~ Your Omnipotence Upholds Me

Theme:  Struggle, Satan, Spiritual Warfare

“When the burden of the battle becomes too much for me, I throw myself like a child into the arms of the Heavenly Father and trust I will not perish.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 606b)

“I do not fear anything, although the storm is raging, and frightful bolts strike all around me, and I then feel quite alone. Yet, my heart senses You, and my trust grows, and I see all Your omnipotence which upholds me.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 761)

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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

Thursday in the Octave of Easter, April 8

May Our Relationship with Jesus Christ Help Us to Recognize the Forgiveness We Need in Our Own Lives, and May It Truly Guide Us to Emulate The Divine Mercy Which Christ Gives to Each of Us.

“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…” – words which our Lord was speaking to His disciples in the Upper Room on Easter Sunday.

Repentance and forgiveness – two words which go hand-in-hand and are synonymous with God’s Loving Mercy. In our First Reading today, we hear Peter reminding the Jews of their conduct in how they rejected the “…Holy and Righteous One”. Yet, in his discourse, he did not chastise them for their actions.

For he says to them, “Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did…Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment…”

I am sure that Peter was remembering the time when he, himself, rejected Christ three times and was forgiven. So he could do no less when speaking to the Jewish people. Drawing from his own experiences when Jesus acted with mercy and kindness towards Peter’s weak nature, Peter responded likewise with understanding and compassion toward others, a trait which we are each called to live in our own daily lives.

In our Responsorial Psalm for today, we hear the psalmist, whom we believe to be King David, singing a song of praise with the words, “O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth!” David speaks about the frailty of human beings to whom God has given great dignity, “What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?”

And yet, that is exactly what God does – He cares for us; He watches over us – lifting us up, strengthening us, guiding us with each step we take on this journey of ours through life.

In the Letter to the Hebrews, we are reminded, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.”

Our relationship with Jesus Christ tells us that we have a Savior who truly understands the human condition, One who truly understands the fears and the sorrows we oftentimes face in this vale of tears through which you and I must travel.

And it is this understanding we find in today’s Gospel, a continuation of yesterday’s Reading. Here, the two disciples just came back from Emmaus to recount to the Apostles all that had happened to them. And then Jesus appears to everyone in the room, and Scripture tells us, “…they were startled and terrified…”

When He says to them, “Peace be with you” – it is difficult for us to truly appreciate the depth of our Lord’s greeting. The Aramaic words Jesus uses are the standard Hebrew greeting, “Shalom aleichem.”

Depending upon the context in which it is used, “Shalom” has a much deeper and a much more profound meaning than does the English word “Peace”.

In order to calm their fears, and to also show that our Lord has forgiven them their weaknesses in abandoning Him during His Passion, the word “Shalom” takes on a context of both compassion and understanding, and He places them at ease. He gives to them a peace which only a God of infinite and indescribable Love could give.

And is that not what you and I desire in our daily lives – a sense of knowing that, in spite of our human frailties, in spite of our own failures at times in rejecting our Lord, we have a God who truly loves and cares for us; we have a God who only wishes to embrace us with His Mercy, a God who says to each of us, “Shalom aleichem” ?

Jesus offered up His Life on the Cross so that our fallen nature may be reconciled to the Eternal Father for all times. And, in paraphrasing our Lord’s words, He says to those gathered in the Upper Room in today’s Gospel, “…repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, [is to] be preached in [my] name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

These words were not only an explanation but also instruction given not only to the Apostles, but also to each and every one of us today, as they have been handed down through all generations of faithful believers since the beginning of the Church!

As Christians, we respond to His words today by the way we live our lives – how we interact with each other, not only with family and friends, but also with those whom we have a hard time liking. It is easy to forgive someone we love; it is not so easy to forgive someone we dislike.

Remember the words of Jesus, however, after He had preached about the Beatitudes, “But to you who hear, I say love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

How we love God is shown through the virtue of charity that we live towards others. This includes the act of being merciful to those who offend or hurt us.

Again, the words of Jesus teach us, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” And, in another place He says, “Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

There are a couple of expressions I am sure each of us has heard at one time or another: “Tomorrow morning is never promised” and “Live each day as if it were your last” – two simple expressions which can help us to change our lives for the better.

They can help us become a better people; they can truly help us to become more Christ-like in the life of faith we live each day – in both our words and our actions. And they can be expressions which help us to always remain opened to the peace with which our Lord wishes to bless us.

May the relationship which you and I are fostering with our Lord, Jesus Christ, help us to live our discipleship with love for each other. May it help us to be humble in recognizing the forgiveness which we need in our own lives, and may it truly guide us to emulate The Divine Mercy which Christ gives to each and every one of us.

Realizing that “tomorrow morning is never promised”, and that all we truly have is the present moment, let us always make the most of it, so that God’s Mercy and Peace may truly dwell within you and me!

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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

  • “And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…’(Luke 24:46-47)
  • “Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did…Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment…” (Acts 3:17, 19-20a)
  • “O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! …What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:2a, 5)
  • “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
  • “But to you who hear, I say love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
  • “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
  • “Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:36-37)
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (John 14:27abc)

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Prayer for the Day

“May the Lord bless you and keep you!
May the Lord let His face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you!
May the Lord look upon you kindly
and give you peace!”

a Judeo-Christian Blessing (cf. Numbers 6:24-26)

Saint of the Day ~ April 8

SAINT JULIE BILLIART (1751-1816), virgin, religious and co-foundress
Patron saint against poverty and sickness

Today, the Church honors Saint Julie Billiart, who was truly devoted to teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to all peoples, but especially with a great love for the poor and underprivileged.

Born into a family of well-to-do farmers in Cuvilly, France in 1751, young Marie Rose Julie Billiart showed an early interest in religion and in helping the sick and the poor. At the age of seven, she knew the catechism by heart, and used to gather her little companions around her to hear them recite it and to explain it to them. She made her First Communion and was Confirmed at the age of nine, and it was during this time that she took a personal vow of chastity.

Though the first years of her life were relatively peaceful and uncomplicated, Julie had to take up manual work as a young teenager when financial misfortune affected her family. However, she continued to spend her spare time teaching catechism to young people and to the farm laborers.

A mysterious illness overtook her when she was about twenty-two years old. Witnessing an attempt to wound or even kill her father, Julie was paralyzed from the trauma and became a complete invalid. For the next two decades she continued to teach catechism lessons from her bed, offered spiritual advice and attracted visitors who had heard of her holiness.

During the French Revolution, Julie opened her home as a hiding place for loyal priests, forcing her to be carried to safety several times. She also received a vision of the crucified Christ, surrounded by a large group of women dressed in religious habits. An inner voice told her that she would begin a religious institute for the Christian education of young girls.

In 1803, Julie, together with an aristocratic woman by the name of Françoise Blin de Bourdon, who personally shared Julie’s interest in teaching the faith, founded the “Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur”, dedicated to the education of the poor as well as young Christian girls and the training of catechists.

The following year, the first Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur made their vows. That was the same year that Sister Julie miraculously recovered from her illness; she was able to walk for the first time in 22 years!

Though she had always been attentive to the special needs of the poor, as it always remained her priority, she also became aware that other classes of people in society needed Christian instruction. From the founding of the Sisters of Notre Dame until her death, Sister Julie was on the road, opening a variety of schools in France and Belgium that served the poor and the wealthy, including opening fifteen convents. Ultimately, Sisters Julie and Françoise moved the Motherhouse for their Order to Namur, Belgium.

While in prayer at the Congregation’s Motherhouse, Sister Julie died peacefully on April 8, 1816. She was canonized a saint by Pope St. Paul VI on June 22, 1969.

We commemorate her feastday on April 8.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ ministering to the underprivileged)

“Lord God, You teach us that the Commandments of Heaven are summarized in love of You and love of our neighbor. By following the example of Saint Julie in practicing works of charity, may we be counted among the blessed in Your Kingdom.

“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.”

NOVENA to the DIVINE MERCY

Seventh Day

[Jesus] “Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.” (Diary, 1224)

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“Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to [You] and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

“A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord is especially loved by Him. She is always close to the living fountain and draws graces from Mercy Divine.

“Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You.

“Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, ‘I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their life time, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.’” (Diary, 1225)

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 Risen Christ, as we journey through life and live the faith with which You have filled our hearts, help us to always feel and recognize Your Loving Presence at our side as we travel the road to our own Emmaus;

– may we always be filled with Your peace and consolation, knowing that Your providential Love and Mercy is Your constant and perpetual gift offered to each of us, Your faithful children. We humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

April 7 ~ Adore My Mercy

Theme:  The Feast of Mercy

“Jesus looked at me and said, ‘Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice is near.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 965)

My prayer response:

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your stern warning about Your gift of the Feast of Mercy. By a Sovereign act of Your Mercy, draw all mankind to adore Your great Mercy – lest they perish for all eternity. Please have mercy upon us, O Lord! (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.