Ask Fr. Thaddaeus: Divine Mercy Sunday

Father Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC, the spiritual director of Friends of Mercy, answers questions from club members:

Having just celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, for next year, what would you suggest is the best way to prepare for this feast day?
I would respond quite simply by saying: Live Lent well. Sin is a block, a wall, which prevents the Blood and Water that gushed forth from Jesus' Heart from entering our own hearts. If we live Lent well, as the Church celebrates Lent in its liturgy, then we will be ready for Easter as well as for Divine Mercy Sunday. In addition, living the octave of Easter is important, too. Both Christmas and Easter have octaves, eight days of celebrating that particular mystery, since it is so glorious and wonderful. These mysteries are so sublime that they are impossible to grasp in a one-day celebration; so the Church extends its celebration to eight days. Divine Mercy Sunday is the eighth day, so living each of the days of Easter is important, too. That can be done by attending daily Mass, praying the Rosary, or simply reading the daily Mass readings. Another possibility is to think not only about Divine Mercy Sunday but the entire Easter season. We often make resolutions for Lent, but we could also make a resolution for Easter: How can we celebrate the joy of Christ's Resurrection in our daily lives? One priest I know made the resolution to listen to at least one praise and worship song a day, so as to preserve and live in a spirit of praise and adoration amid his busy life. Or one could simply make a resolution to pray three times every waking hour the "O Blood and Water" prayer (see Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 187). Something small like that can be done so as to spend the entire Easter season as a time of praise for the Father's mercy in conquering death and lifting us to new life. Lastly, maybe the most obvious answer to how to prepare is simply to pray the Divine Mercy Novena, which Jesus asked us to begin on Good Friday and end on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday (see Diary, 1209-1230). By praying each of the days, we encircle the entire world in prayer, begging the Lord to open the hearts of all throughout the world to receive the Blood and Water that is poured forth upon us on Divine Mercy Sunday.

How can I celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday if my parish does not have a celebration for it?
Even if there is no parish celebration, every Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday is, in fact, a celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. Hence, one fulfills the request of Jesus to obtain His promise of complete forgiveness of sin and punishment simply by going to any Mass on that day and receiving Holy Communion, and going to Confession any time up to or on the day of the Feast. In addition to this, one could individually, as a family, or in a group, venerate an Image of Divine Mercy and pray the Chaplet. The key is to make an effort to open one's heart in total trust in the Divine Mercy on that Sunday. Since the mercy of God is abundantly poured forth, our duty is to open wide our hearts in trust. Another commendable thing to do would be to perform any of the works of mercy, with the focus of enabling those you encounter to open their hearts, too, to trust in the mercy of God.

Got questions for Fr. Thaddaeus? Email us at FriendsOfMercy@marian.org or write to Friends of Mercy, Marian Helpers Center, Stockbridge, MA 01263.

JBK

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