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A beginner's guide
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placeholder April 1, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
A beginner's guide to the Divine Mercy

Rev. Carl Arcosa

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.

What is the Divine Mercy?

Divine Mercy as a devotion is not a new thing nor was it invented by someone. It is from God and it was declared by the Universal Church as a valid and universally accepted "Catholic Devotion." The identity of God as a merciful Father and the message of His Mercy and Forgiveness are based and found in the Scriptures. This devotion to our Lord Jesus of the Divine Mercy has its source from a private revelation of Jesus to a humble Polish mystic and nun named St. Faustina Kowalska. There is nothing new about the notion of God as the Divine Mercy. God simply reminds us and the Church through the lives of people and also through the holy examples of our saints about God's Mercy and the urgent need of the world and humanity to seek and embrace the Mercy of God.

 


Polish Sister St. Faustina Kowalska is depicted with an image of Jesus Christ the Divine Mercy.

Divine Mercy Conference

English
Immaculate
Heart of Mary Parish

500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood

April 5, 7-9 p.m., concert with Mark Mallett for all ages

April 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., speakers, prayers and music, including Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, Mark Mallet, Fathers Carl Arcosa and Jim Sullivan. Mass at 5 p.m. with Fathers Jerry Brown and Michalenko.

Contact: Nona Cornejo
925-339-4469

Fran Adami
925-778-5620

Spanish
Immaculate
Heart of Mary Parish
500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood

April 6 and 7, 6-10 p.m., great encounter with God's Divine Mercy.

International Speakers: Gladys Garcete from Paraguay and Rafael Angel from Puerto Rico.

Contact: Elizabeth Gomez
925-470-5944
 
The message of the Divine Mercy is an important reminder for all of us to embrace the Mercy of God, not tomorrow, nor in the future, but today. It is a divine reminder for all of us to prepare for the glorious coming of our Lord, which the Advent Season calls us and invites us to do.

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/
message/devotions/praythe chaplet.php


To pray the novena: www.thedivinemercy.org/
message/devotions/novena.php


To pray the 3 o'Clock Prayer: www.thedivinemercy.org/
message/devotions/hour.php


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 carl@sfaconcord.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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