Photo: Felix Carroll
Wow. This is Great. Now What?
A self-described "proud parishioner of St. Mary Parish in Huntley, Illinois," is now the proud owner of lots and lots of Divine Mercy material. The photo above isn't half of it.
Tom Perrone is the winner of the free Divine Mercy Evangelization Kit. He was one of hundreds of people who submitted their names in a pre-Divine Mercy Sunday giveaway promoted on the Marian Fathers' website, thedivinemercy.org, and Facebook page "Divine Mercy (Official)."
"It is my hope that the spiritually enriching material will not only heighten my own commitment to the devotion, but that the package will also help inspire my family and friends toward the same endeavor," Tom says. "Mercy, humility, and love only will happen on a greater societal level after it is firmly entrenched among our families and friends, and I am confident that this kit will serve as a viable tool."
The material, which has a retail value of more than $300, includes books, CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, prayercards, a framed Image of The Divine Mercy, and more.
Tom, 44, prays the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy twice daily. He says the Divine Mercy devotions serve "as a spiritual remedy that helps alleviate, albeit modestly, my own considerable weakness and sinfulness, along with the amorality and relativism that plague our contemporary society."
He also says he is the son of "two wonderful mothers: the Virgin Mary and my natural born mother, Margaret Perrone."
For him, the Divine Mercy revelations of St. Faustina serve as a wonderful opportunity to witness the rich message God is giving mankind and the central truth of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Tom was kind enough to answer some of our questions:
How did you first come to know about the message of Divine Mercy?
I read Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska in 2006, and I was immediately struck by the intimacy and love that were exchanged between St. Faustina and Jesus Christ. Their conversations, while theological, were also so loving and congenial, that they reminded me of how any loving parent would guide and comfort children. Also, the availability and emphasis upon mercy was readily apparent. It was almost as if Jesus were more anxious that we pursue His mercy than our need for it, and we know how desperately we require such mercy on both individual and societal levels. Jesus almost begs us to accept His gift of mercy, when we should be constantly begging Him for this precious treasure.
How did the Divine Mercy message change you and your relationship with God?
I realized three facts. First, I am a weak sinner. Secondly, our country is an ever-devolving cesspool, and, thirdly, the devil is alive and active, while I am no match for any of these three conditions. Consequently, through the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, I am constantly reminded of how utterly dependent I am upon Jesus Christ and Mary's maternal and loving intercession. Divine Mercy is synonymous with humility, empathy, and love.
Why do you think Divine Mercy is so important?
Divine Mercy is so important because it is the spiritual prescription that remedies our sinfulness, brokenness, disillusionment, and fear. Along with the Rosary, there are no greater prayerful resources at our disposal.
How do you plan to go about taking in all that material you won?
Today, I gave the " Divine Mercy Kit " to my parish pastor, Monsignor Steve Knox of Saint Mary Church. He personifies the qualities that Divine Mercy exemplifies, namely, humility, empathy, and love. With his intellectual, moral, and spiritual expertise, along with the kit, Monsignor Knox will undoubtedly advance the Divine Mercy devotion within our parish.
Tom adds: "I thank the Association of Marian Helpers and EWTN not only for this generous prize, but also for the immeasurable spiritual instruction and inspiration that they have so richly cultivated over many years. Their selfless and tireless effort is greatly appreciated."