Divine Mercy

Use the comment boxes for your reports on Divine Mercy happenings you experienced. The news agency Zenit is back from its Easter Octave break, and they report a very brief mention from the pope, who emphasized the Easter Octave as a unitive celebration.

This Sunday — as I said — ends the week or, more precisely, the “octave” of Easter, which the liturgy considers a single day: “the day the Lord has made” (Psalm 117:24). It is not a chronological but a spiritual time that God has opened in the fabric of days when he raised Christ from the dead. The Creator Spirit, breathing the new and eternal life into the interred body of Jesus of Nazareth, brought the work of creation to its completion, bringing about a “first fruit”; a first fruit of a new humanity that is at the same time the first fruit of a new world and a new era. 

Our parish had a 3PM service of music, Eucharistic adoration, and rosary with the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Brittany held out okay for most of it. “Witness” talks were included in the service and I think that grew a bit tiresome for her. She volunteered to assist with the cookies and punch reception afterward. So when I saw one of our organizers leave for the church hall about forty minutes in, I decided to show “mercy” and let her follow to help our friend Adele get things set up.

I have a few friends at the parish for whom the Divine Mercy devotion is big stuff. I see less interest from clergy. Some Catholics treat it with great suspicion. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see the separation of the observance from devotion for John Paul II, who will undoubtedly eclipse St Faustina for most Catholics concerned with such things.

I think our organizers were pleased. More people came this year that last, including two families with kids, excluding mine.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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5 Responses to Divine Mercy

  1. Brendan Kelleher SVD says:

    Here out on the Asian margins, while we had a Polish confrere push St Faustina and devotion before John Paul II proclaimed Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, one notices minimal take up of the devotion. We also have not been flooded with as much literature, or overwhelmed with as much media attention to John Paul II as in Europe or the USA. Blithe, and not necessarily culpable ignorance means that the day goes by with few parishes taking any notice of this attempt to impose an added layer of meaning to the liturgical focus of the day. Speaking personally, and unable to understand what a focus on Divine Mercy adds to the day, I feel we have enough already in the liturgy as food for the mind and heart, so I don’t expect to make any particular effort to draw the attention of people to this devotion. Some may be a little scandalized by my comment, but devotions such as to the Divine Mercy, need to respond to a felt need, be properly explained, then await over the passing of time, reception by the People of God before they take root and grow. Our Catholic media gave more attention to the addition of the Mysteries of Light, but I still have Christians I work with ask why they are a useful addition to the Rosary. Once more a question of reception, which is a matter of time and catechesis. Until then I also don’t expect too much in the way of “witness” to experiences of Divine Mercy, or any other ‘import’ from Europe, the West.

  2. Cheryl Barron says:

    The Feast of Divine Mercy was requested by Jesus himself. See St. Faustina’s diary. Pope John Paul 2 opened investagation into this in poland-6 months later he was elected Pope. He died on the monday after the divine mercy feast day. I don’t think this was coincidence.
    For folks like me who have great need of mercy this is a refreshment. Thank you

  3. Talmida says:

    The thing that really bothers me about Divine Mercy is having that cheesy painting hanging in the Sanctuary! It is NOT art. It is comic book Jesus. It looks so pathetic hanging in our church. Compared with the other beautiful furnishings — altar, ambo, chairs, crucifix — it looks like something painted on velvet and picked up at a corner gas station sale (do they still have those?).

    I wish they’d put it away. Maybe just bring it out for the one weekend?

  4. aplman says:

    What has always struck me about the Second Sunday of Easter is that Jesus’ first words to those who had denied and abandoned him were, “Peace be with you.” Long before I every heard of Faustina, I was preaching the merciful pardon of Jesus revealed in these words. The scriptures and collects have not changed – only the title of the day has been modified – and, understanding Talmida’s complaint, such a poor excuse for art should never be exhibited in a sacred place. (I live in New England where paintings on velvet can still be found at gas stations on weekends, usually around holidays.)

    Todd: perhaps this might have been a good day to introduce sung Evening Prayer in your parish?

  5. Todd says:

    Good suggestion, except that we had Divine Mercy at 3, then our usual Sunday night Mass at 5. My wife still dislikes our Sunday evening Mass; she believes we’d have more family time on Sunday if I were free of it. I might find the locks on the house changed if I started coming home on Sundays at 8PM regularly.

    I think the Jesus figure in the Divine Mercy images is a bit saccharine. I think a real painter good do a nice job of it. If Divine Mercy catches on in a big way here, I might consider a commission to do the image artfully.

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