|April 1, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 7 • Oakland, CA|
| A beginner's guide
to the Divine Mercy
In anticipation of Divine Mercy Sunday, which is April 7, the Sunday after Easter, The Catholic Voice asked Rev. Carl Arcosa, chaplain of the Divine Mercy Ministry and Apostolate of the Diocese of Oakland, to provide an introduction to the devotion.
The message of the Divine Mercy is to always trust in the Mercy of God, to be merciful just as God is merciful and to embrace the mission of Christ (to be His missionaries and instruments of mercy for our ailing and broken world).
All the details of Jesus' private revelations and messages to St. Faustina can be found in the Diary of St. Faustina. These are some excerpts:
No. 206: "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."
No. 367: "My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners … it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy."
No. 1074: "... do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace."
What is the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy? How is it prayed?
The devotional prayers of the Divine Mercy are also found in the Diary of St. Faustina. The three famous prayers are: The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy; the 3 O'Clock Prayer, which is the commemoration of the Passion and Death of our Lord; and the Novena for the Feast of Divine Mercy.
To pray the chaplet: www.thedivinemercy.org/
To pray the novena: www.thedivinemercy.org/
To pray the 3 o'Clock Prayer: www.thedivinemercy.org/
How can one begin?
One can begin praying the devotion as his personal prayer. However, one also needs to know more about the history of the devotion.
Reading the Diary of St. Faustina would be a good start and having an image of the Jesus of the Divine Mercy. Order a copy and this image from: www.divinemercy.org and click the "catalog."
It is encouraged we pray this devotion at 3 p.m., which is the hour of Jesus' Passion and Death. Fridays are also a good day to pray this devotion with the way of the cross to remember the salvific death of our Lord Jesus on the cross.
It is also a good idea to read Blessed John Paul the Great's encyclical, "Dives in Misericordia," ("Rich in Mercy") published Nov. 30, 1980.
How can a parish start a group?
If a group or a devotee desires to form a Divine Mercy Prayer Group, they need to have the permission of their pastor. If the pastor needs more information about this devotion, they may contact the Chaplain of the Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Oakland. For information on how to form a Divine Mercy Prayer Group, visit www.divinemercyoakland.org or email Rev. Arcosa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can we meet with others in the diocese in this ministry?
There are many opportunities to grow in this devotion, which is spreading fast throughout the Catholic world. We have an annual schedule of events and faith formation events diocesan wide and also at the parish levels. The main objective of the Divine Mercy Apostolate and Ministry is to help each devotee to be firmly rooted in the Catholic Teachings of the Catholic Church and to be an active Catholic and a parishioner doing works of mercy and serving the needs of the parish. Please visit the website www.divinemercyoakland.org for our 2013 Events in Spanish and English.
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