'I Will Pray for You'

It was Sunday morning, and the day was dragging on. One of the members of our prayer group was feeling sick. Mass had started, and he was feeling terrible. As Mass continued, so did the wrestling that he felt within.

We've all been sick before. We all know what it's like. Sickness can cause us to be withdrawn. It can even prompt us to feel sorry for ourselves and become self-absorbed. Sometimes it can make us feel like we don't want to do anything. A myriad of temptations can come in our weakness - and so can negative thoughts.

Saint Maria Faustina, the Polish nun whose Diary contains God's loving message of Divine Mercy, knew all about these things. Tuberculosis had attacked her lungs, and she often endured physical pain. She also had bouts of spiritual weakness, which is also what my prayer group friend was experiencing.

But at one point, the Lord came to St. Faustina and said: "My daughter, do not be afraid of what will happen to you. I will give you nothing beyond your strength. You know the power of My grace; let that be enough" (Diary, 1491).

Later, our Lord came to her to discuss what to do when encountering the struggles that sometimes divide our hearts. He said: "When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart. Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us. Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Do not be guided by feeling, because it is not always under control; but all merit lies in the will ... Do not be unduly fearful because you are not alone" (Diary, 1760).

As everyone should be aware of, through the Holy Mass an abundance of graces are poured out to the whole world. And so it was on this day for my friend. Mass came to an end, and he slowly prepared to leave. As the church emptied out, he saw a young lady with her head down as though she was troubled with many problems.

Suddenly, all the terrible feelings left him, and he understood once again the importance of being a vessel of God's graces and mercy. Seeing this person in need brought him out of himself and into the realm of God. He went over and asked her if she was OK. She responded that she was fine and that she didn't need to talk to anyone. He said OK and that he would pray for her. She was clearly moved that he asked her how she was and that he promised to pray for her.

Both parted ways.

One left with the knowledge that he had reached out in mercy to another and brought her comfort. The other left knowing that someone cared enough to ask and pray for her.

Uniting with the infinite God of mercy, we can affect lives even in the simplest of ways.

Our Lord told St. Faustina: "write this for many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions or storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasures for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy" (Diary, 1317).

"I will pray for you," my friend said. It's a simple act of mercy - with infinite value.

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, pj7772@msn.com or via phone, 901-438-7772.

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