In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave us "a mandate" to "go forth and be witnesses of God's mercy, a source of hope for every person and for the whole world."
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 28, 2009)
The following message from Fr. Joseph, MIC, appears in the Spring issue of Marian Helper magazine. We invite you to order a free copy of Marian Helper.
We are in for a tough time with the prospect of a long recession. Many Americans are losing their jobs, and the housing market remains in a slump.
What can we do?
First, let me give you the short answer. We can seek to make 2009 a year of mercy for our nation and our world. We can start by deciding to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy every day — imploring the "Eternal Father ... for the sake of His [Jesus'] sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world" (Diary of St. Faustina, 475-476). I encourage you to pray the chaplet especially at 3 p.m.
The longer answer involves sharing with you some of the opportunities that can make 2009 a year of mercy for us and then highlighting how the chaplet is such a powerful intercessory prayer in invoking God's mercy.
The first North American Congress on Mercy (NACOM) is scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C., with the theme "Mercy: Our Hope." The aim is to bring mercy home to our own continent after the first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in 2008.
Leading up to NACOM in November, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception have organized many events throughout the year, with the aim of making 2009 a year of mercy.
I'd like to highlight two pre-NACOM events in particular. First, on April 18, the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday, we Marians will be hosting a Divine Mercy Conference here in western Massachusetts. Featured Speakers will be: Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, Second Councilor to the Superior General of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and host of the Cenacle of Divine Mercy on EWTN, who will speak on Marians and Divine Mercy around the world, with a special emphasis on the Marian's new mission in the Philippines; Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, the Marians' director of vocations, who will speak on St. Faustina's relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary; and Br. Jason Lewis, MIC, a Marian seminarian, who will speak on Divine Mercy and the Pascal Mystery. Register here
Second, our John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy will be conducting its first-ever Summer Institute July 3-9 in Washington, D.C. It will include an in-depth formation program on Divine Mercy taught by Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD, the Institute's director.
Now, in supporting all these opportunities with daily prayer, let's consider the efficacy of the chaplet. Jesus gives St. Faustina this instruction about the chaplet, which includes a remarkable promise: "My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet" (Diary, 1541). Claiming this promise, let's cry out to the Eternal Father to grant us a year of mercy.
Along these lines, let me share an example of how St. Faustina herself took the Lord at His word and prayed the chaplet. It was May 22, 1937, and Sr. Faustina reports that "the heat is so intense today that it is difficult to bear." When she "looked at the plants, thirsting for the rain," she "was moved with pity." So, she "decided to say the chaplet until the Lord would send us rain."
Then she records that "before supper ... a heavy rain fell on the earth." The saint notes that she "had been praying this prayer without interruption for three hours." Saint Faustina then concludes about the incident: "The Lord let me know that everything can be obtained by means of this prayer" (Diary, 1128).
Inspired by St. Faustina, imagine all of us, Marians and Marian Helpers, joining together to pray the chaplet every day in 2009, confident that God the Father will rain down His mercy on parched and thirsting souls right here in North America. Let it rain, Lord!
"Father Joseph, MIC," is the honorary title of the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current director is Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC. Learn how you can become a Marian Helper — helping the Marians to spread the message of The Divine Mercy and devotion to Mary Immaculate.