Photo: Felix Carroll
Prayer as an Act of Mercy
By Jay Hastings (Mar 26, 2007)
Eucharistic Adoration is of great importance in a church. We have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy on a continual basis in our parish here in Tennessee. If a parish is able to do 24-hour Adoration, that is wonderful. If not, then they should do what they can and grow from there. It's amazing the fruits that can come from it.
What a blessing to be a vessel for God's graces and mercy for souls!
We cannot measure the worth of something such as adoration by the number of people who show up to participate. If a large number of people participate, then all the better. If not, then we who participate are still giving God praise and adoration for His goodness and mercy.
Each person who comes and joins us in our praying represents the whole Church as they pray. Souls are being graced with God's unfathomable mercy because we persevere in prayer and obedience.
Jesus said to St. Faustina: "But write this for many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasures for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy" (Diary, 1317).
We find that when we pray the chaplet and have adoration we are like a beacon of light in the world. I've learned that when you spend a large amount of time around the church, you see God draw people to Himself. People wander in to pray. They feel called to stop by.
I know of one such woman. She was not intending to come to adoration and evening prayer. She was driving down the street to go get a birthday card recently. She decided to stop by our chapel. She was being drawn in by our Lord. She wandered in and sat down. Patte, one of the members of our prayer group, invited her to pray with us.
The woman said that she had not been to church for a long time. We showed her how to pray, and she participated with us. Afterwards, she expressed a desire to go to confession and wondered if the priest was still around.
Jesus says to the sinful soul:
Be not afraid of your Saviour, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.
Soul: Lord, I hear your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.
Jesus: I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle (Diary, 1485).
Our pastor, Fr. Peter, heard this woman's confession and reconciled a soul back to God. He believes that it was St. Faustina who drew this woman in. Is this not a special gift from God because we continually have adoration, evening prayer and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy?
I believe our Lord is pleased that we in our parish have these devotions. We do so out of obedience to Him. We do so in order to give Him praise and worship, which He deserves.
Consider some of the following quotations from the Diary of St. Faustina:
I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience; I am speaking about a religious soul. O God, how easy it is to know Your will in the convent! (354)
When I left the confessional and started to recite my penance, I heard these words: I have granted the grace you asked for on behalf of that soul, but not because of the mortification you chose for yourself. Rather, it was because of your act of complete obedience to My representative that I granted this grace to that soul for whom you interceded and begged mercy. Know that when you mortify your own self-will, then Mine reigns within you (365).
Yes, when you are obedient I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength. I am very surprised that souls do not want to make that exchange with Me. I said to the Lord, "Jesus, enlighten my heart, or else I, too, will not understand much from these words" (381).
My daughter, know that you give Me greater glory by a single act of obedience than by long prayers and mortifications (894).
My daughter, you please me more by eating the oranges out of obedience and love of Me than by fasting and mortifying yourself of your own will. A soul that loves Me very much must, ought to live by My will (1023).
Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensures 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, Belize (Central America), Costa Rica, Canada, Philippines, Bolivia, India, Iraq, Australia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Tanzania, 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.