A Bedside 'Prescription' for the Sick and Dying

By Jay Hastings

Doctors have been known to tell the sick and dying that there is nothing else that can be done for them. Nothing else? There's nothing further from the truth.

We can do something for them. We can give them the image of The Divine Mercy (the easiest way is in the form of a prayercard) and we can pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for them, as our Lord instructed. After all, even if someone's days on earth may be few, there's heaven to consider. We need to do what we can to get them into heaven!

As for the image of The Divine Mercy, our Lord instructed St. Faustina to have it painted with the words "Jesus, I Trust in You" at the bottom. The Lord provided this image as a vessel of grace for us. He told St. Faustina: "I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death" (Diary of St. Faustina, 48).

As for the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, Jesus told St. Faustina: "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 this chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. ... Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" (Diary, 1541).

To uphold the dignity of every human being, we can pray the chaplet for the divine intervention in the life of every soul. We can pray for healing and for the trust, graces, and mercy necessary to prepare them for the journey through the valley of death. Our Lord promised such prayer will bear fruit. I know one thing: When He promises something, I'm sure going to listen and put His instructions into action.

I'd like to share with you a story of how our Divine Mercy prayer group recently used the Chaplet and the image as our Lord commanded.

One day, Fr. Peter (our parish priest) called our group to get people to join him at the hospital to pray the chaplet for a young woman. The woman was in the advanced stages of breast cancer.

Father Peter had given the young woman the Anointing of the Sick the day before. She was looking very sick and had a tube attached to her nose. Her family was present, and we proceeded to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. The young woman joined us in our prayers. As she lay in bed, she clutched the relic of St. Faustina that we had brought.

After we had finished praying the Chaplet, I decided to trust that our Lord would provide the right words to say to her. I explained to her about the image of The Divine Mercy and the promises our Lord attached to it. I explained how Jesus invites us to keep coming back to this image for strength in times of need, and how He invites us to pray the Chaplet to fill souls with peace.

Our prayer group watched as this young woman clutched the relic of St. Faustina and gazed into the image of The Divine Mercy. She did so with such a connection of spirit with the Almighty as to prepare her for the valley of death. It's a journey the young woman's grandmother had made years earlier. Words cannot express the moment we witnessed. The next morning, the young woman told her mother that her grandmother was there to see her.

As her mother turned to talk with her daughter, the young woman gently passed away. Her passing was a peaceful one.

Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensure that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-hour Chaplet members now consist of nearly 500 people from across the United States, as well as from Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, India, and Iraq, 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, [email protected] or via phone, 901-438-7772.

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