In Dark Days, Welcome Gifts from the Church

O Church of God, you are the best mother, you alone can rear a soul and cause it to grow. Oh, how great is my love and respect for the Church, that best of all mothers! (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 197)

We’re coming up on one of the richest weeks of saints and feasts in the Church’s entire calendar from the perspective of the work we do here on Eden Hill:

  • September 29 is the Feast of the Holy Archangels, servants of the Divine Mercy, especially when it comes to God’s little ones;
  • Oct. 1 is the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower and model of the spirituality in “Jesus, I trust in You”;
  • Oct. 2 is Respect Life Sunday;
  • Oct. 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the greatest of all saints of mercy;
  • Oct. 5 is St. Faustina’s feast day; and
  • Oct. 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

What an incredible gift of a week! There’s a tradition that says that each saint is a particularly powerful intercessor on their feast days. If you possibly can, head to Mass on these days and ask the saints for their intercession, especially for the biggest, most impossible needs and intentions.

After all, we all have plenty of those these days!

Bring to the saints of mercy the dangerous situation with Russia these days. Ask the saints of mercy to change the hearts of Russia’s leaders, to bring about peace in the world, and to protect the weak and the powerless.

Bring to the saints of mercy the situation in our country today, where brother turns against brother, where the partisan divide threatens to split us on every level.

Bring to the saints of mercy the suffering and needs caused by natural disasters in Florida and around the world, with so many people displaced and so much damage caused.

Bring to the saints of mercy the financial challenges facing so many people and societies across the world today. Share your needs and the needs of your neighbors with the saints in Heaven; they are both rich and generous.

Bring to the saints of mercy everything that causes you worry or anxiety. Set it in their hands. Trust in their powerful love and intercession. We may still have our crosses to bear, but even Jesus didn’t go to Calvary alone or unassisted.

We’re in times of unprecedented turmoil. One thing we can be sure of: Through it all, the Church is guaranteed by God to endure, and abide.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; / upon his shoulder dominion rests. / They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, / Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. / His dominion is vast / and forever peaceful, / Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom, / which he confirms and sustains / By judgment and justice, / both now and forever. / The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this! (Is 9:6-7)

As many of the early Fathers of the Church taught, we shall be here till the time of the end, when Enoch and Elijah stand in Jerusalem, preaching and untouchable by the forces of Antichrist till the time is fulfilled and their martyrdom comes. The Church shall greet Christ at His Second Coming, and the Communion of Saints shall abide with the Head of the Church for all eternity.

Throughout her Diary, St. Faustina repeatedly talked about how important the Church was to her:

I submit in everything to the will of my superiors and my confessor. I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus, it cannot be helped, but I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me (Diary, 497).

In these hard times, we, the Church Militant, ought to always try to be steadfast in our faith, consistent in practicing that faith, and constant in our prayer and works of mercy. We are meant as a light to the nations, salt of the earth, and a city set on a hill, serving as hope in hard times, especially for the weakest and most in need. The more we can do in obedience to that call, the better off everyone will be.

So let us recommit to being servants of the Divine Mercy and our neighbors, trusting in the Lord’s love for us. By our membership in the Church and the Sacraments, we are adopted sons and daughters of God. He shares His life and love with us through the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus. If we live in the Spirit, all good is possible. Let us ask the great saints of mercy for their help, for us and for the whole world.

Pray for me, that I may practice what I preach. I’ll pray for you.

Chris Sparks is the author of the Marian Press book How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question.

Photo: Marian Archives

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