Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter Isn't Over: D is for Divine Mercy

Eternal Father, I offer you the body and the blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I still remember the first time I was introduced to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Sitting huddled on a wooden pew after a young adult Mass, we were given the prayers and begun to recite the decades. It was a simple, but moving prayer. A little while later I would be introduced to a sung version which I love to this day, but which we realized is NOT the preferred means of praying at 3AM during all-night EucharisticAdoration.

I love this prayer and this chaplet for the deep sincerity of what it proclaims - desiring the mercy of Christ. Its placement within the octave of Easter is profound. That blood and water that gushed forth from the side of Christ crucified provides cleansing, life and protection for any who seek it. The message of mercy proclaimed that day continues forth for the whole world today, yet so many walk the earth in complete ignorance of their need for mercy and healing, and Christ's passionate desire to grant it to them. "I thirst," he said from the cross, and he continues to thirst today, thirsting for those souls who wander lost, those souls who are broken in need of healing, those souls which deny him...he thirsts. I was praying the chaplet late one night when Li'l G was really little and up for a feeding, and the immensity of the prayer pierced my heart. "For our sins and the sins of the whole world..." How much the sins of the world must weigh on the most precious and sacred heart of Jesus. The sins, big and small, abortion, hatred, greed, immense the weight of all our sins, and how profound the mercy of Christ.

Perhaps if we all worked to share that message of mercy with the world, more would come to believe. Perhaps if we shared with one another how deeply Christ thirsts for us in our brokenness and sinfulness, more people would feel love instead of condemnation and come to repent and believe in the good news. Perhaps if we brought more people in mercy to the heart of Christ in prayer, more people would feel the embrace of Christ's unyielding love for us and come to believe in the new life he offers us and the eternal life he promises us which makes all the suffering in this life pale in comparison to the joy that awaits us. Come, lord Jesus, have mercy - I trust in you!

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