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A Call for Prayer
By Marie Romagnano, RN (Mar 17, 2014)
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the flight that literally vanished off the radar on March 8, taking along 239 passengers, has had a heart-wrenching effect on all of us, especially when we think of the potentially catastrophic loss of so many lives, including infants.
What can we do for those who boarded that plane? How can we come to the aid of the families and friends of those victims, so far away? When tragedies of any sort occur, if we cannot physically be on the scene to assist the injured, dying, and mourning, we should become a spiritual presence through prayer — particularly by having confidence in the promises of Jesus to those who pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Spiritual Act of Mercy — the Divine Mercy Chaplet
The moment I heard of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet, I immediately thought of Jesus' words to St. Faustina, as recorded in her Diary:
Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer (1777).
At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or, when others say it for a dying person; the pardon is the same (811).
Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet (848).
The Divine Mercy Chaplet in Tragedy
Catastrophic events present all of us with occasions to exercise efficacious spiritual works of mercy. Indeed, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is the most appropriate prayer to offer for victims of tragedy who may not otherwise be rescued or tended to. It truly becomes their "last hope of salvation," as our Lord declares. Moreover, it serves as a means of hope and consolation for surviving family and friends. Through praying the Chaplet for those seriously injured and dying, we all become powerful instruments of God's saving grace.
God's Powerful Final Grace of Mercy
When we look to what St. Faustina tells us about caring spiritually for the dying, we have cause for great hope.
This great saint tells us through her Diary:
I often attend upon the dying, and through entreaties obtain for them trust in God's mercy, and I implore God for an abundance of divine grace, which is always victorious. God's mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God's powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God's mercy! Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God." (1698)
Knowing we can trust in Jesus, the Divine Mercy, can be a tremendous consolation for the families and friends of the victims. Our prayers as a Christian community allow us to reach out and touch their hearts. We can entrust all the victims and their families to Jesus. We can pray for healing — physical and spiritual — and ask His mercy for them.
If each family knows we prayed for them, what a comfort in time of great sorrow.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus, as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You (187).
In the case of those souls aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — indeed, in all cases of tragedy — pray with confidence, knowing that the Lord is listening and that He keeps His promises.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Marie Romagnano, from Charlton, Mass., is the founder of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. Her book Nursing with the Hands of Jesus: A Guide to Nurses for Divine Mercy was written with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC.