Photo: Marian Archives
A Deeper Walk with Our Lord
By Jay Hastings (Nov 15, 2006)
This is the story of Joseph. He's 83 years old, and he's never felt as close to the Lord as he does now.
He was baptized a Catholic and has been active in the Church all of his life to one degree or another. During his early years, he was dedicated to the Mother of Jesus in the Rosary.
After retirement, Joseph became the coordinator for a prayer group in Memphis, Tenn., and led the group for five years. He was also instrumental in starting Adoration in the parish and coordinating it for four years. These and other involvements in the church — in addition to taking care of his sick wife — kept Joseph pretty busy.
But in 2002, his life took a new turn that he wasn't expecting.
Because of an Eucharistic experience I had, I asked Joseph to join in helping to "repair the Body of Christ." Allow me to explain: One day, during Holy Communion, when I received the Host, it broke in half on my tongue. That had never happened to me before. In my heart, I heard the words "Help Me repair the Body of Christ." Identifying the phrase with the broken Host, I was deeply moved.
I soon received the inspiration to get people to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for every hour of the day and, thus, "to help repair the Body of Christ" spiritually and through our individual acts of mercy.
Joseph said he would help. Thus, our 24-Hour Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer group was born. We would ensure that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. And we would pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy message and devotion; the sick and dying; and people who about to commit mortal sin.
Joseph started to tell other people about it, and soon there was 20 people joining us — and growing. (Today, it's more than 500 people!)
Joseph was familiar with the Chaplet, but he was not familiar with the Diary of St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy. I encouraged him to read the Diary, telling him his life would never be the same again.
He bought the Diary and started reading it. He couldn't put it down. He says that he was so impressed with the message of mercy — the message given to St. Faustina directly from Jesus. At this late period of his life, Joseph found love and devotion such as he hadn't felt before. He became an avid promoter of Divine Mercy and will continue for the rest of his life.
He has received many graces as a result. "What a wonderful peace and love that it gives you in your heart when this occurs," Joseph says.
Joseph also joined a local Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy prayer cenacle. "We meet twice a month, and through it and our prayer group we grow in closer intimacy with our Lord," he says. "The same feeling of love and devotion fills me when we meet at these meetings, only it is intensified. The Holy Spirit is there leading and guiding us."
He can only say, "Thank you Jesus, for a person of my age to enjoy and obtain the graces and love that comes through the Divine Mercy devotion."
The lesson here is that we should all be open to God's movement in our lives at every age.
Jesus said to St. Faustina: "The prayer of a humble and loving soul disarms the anger of My Father and draws down an ocean of blessings (Diary, 320).
He also said: "Although My greatness is beyond understanding, I commune only with those who are little. I demand of you a childlike spirit" (Diary, 332).
Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensure that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-hour Chaplet members now consist of more than 500 people from across the United States, as well as from Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, India, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Iraq, who are assigned an hour each day in which to pray. They pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion; the sick and dying in the hour that you pray; and people about to commit mortal sin. To join the 24-Hour Chaplet, contact Jay via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone, 901-438-7772.