Let go, let God and His Mercy

Elizabeth Montigny as Mary, the mother of Jesus, in her one-woman play, Walking With Our Mother. Photos by Jennifer Claire Bingham

By Elizabeth Montigny 

Caught in Providence is a beloved local television show, similar to Judge Judy and featuring the fair Judge Frank Caprio. In one episode, a priest visited the judge with a special message and donation. Both priest and judge shared stories of witnessing mercy and the importance of the unity of family. The priest shared that the Hebrew word hesed can be translated as mercy or to “journey with someone, to pull them out of the depths of their despair.”

I have a devotion to the Divine Mercy and, yes, it is indeed a journey. 

Letting go of the past
Twelve years ago, my husband and I were new parents to our first son, yet I was having trouble healing from some past relationships. God was telling me it was time to leave the past behind (look at this beautiful baby!). How did it serve me to keep rehashing it?
I had had enough of this weighing on me, so I made the decision to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily as I pushed the stroller around the neighborhood. 

I admit that, at first, I struggled to pray the words, “Eternal Father I offer You the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ ... .” I pondered how I could “offer” the Son to the Father. I had to pause every time I got to those big beads, but the more I prayed, the more it sank in how much He loves us and all the ways He wants to save us.

Next, I struggled with asking that these past people forgive me for whatever they felt I may have done to them. This was a tough one because, naturally, I felt that they had wronged me. But I stuck to this pattern of asking the Lord to help me forgive them and to help them forgive me, and it worked. After a few months, I realized I had stopped playing movies in my mind or worrying about what people thought of me.

What a load off my mind and heart to hand this healing over to the Father and the Son!

Theater ministry
Fast forward a few more sons (three total), and I found myself being called to bring my theater ministry to life. My mother (and her devotion to our Blessed Mother) had encouraged me to start writing these short plays years before, but it wasn’t until one day when I was feeding our youngest son and reading a headline about the persecution of Christians that I thought, “Well, this is only going to get worse before it gets better, so what am I waiting for?” I launched the Marian Theatre Project, short one-woman plays based on the Rosary.

The audience response to my plays is another confirmation of Divine Mercy. I notice this especially after performing my piece called “Walking with Our Mother,” in which we see Christ’s passion through Our Lady’s eyes. Afterwards, audience members often share with me the recent loss of a loved one. 

Rainbows everywhere
I also have a story about receiving more Divine Mercy at the passing of a loved one. When my father’s cancer came back for a third time and in a different way, he suffered for about a month before he died. During that month I constantly prayed the Chaplet for my father’s peaceful death and for his sins to be forgiven. I saw rainbows everywhere, and I don’t think it was my sunglasses! 

Even though that month was challenging for so many reasons, it was also layered with peace because I was praying for my father on his final journey. In the end, my prayers were answered. My dad’s last night on earth was rough, but he also saw things we couldn’t see, and his final few hours, the morning of the Feast of the Guardian Angels (Sept. 29), were peaceful. I like to think he just floated away with them.

These days, I have an alarm on my phone to ring at 3 p.m. to prompt me to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. My prayer intentions for the Chaplet are usually the same: mercy for those in my life who most need it, for the souls of those who have passed recently, and for our nation to be converted. And, now that the world is waking again, I’m relaunching my theater ministry. Before each performance, I pray, “Mary, let my words be your words” and “Jesus, I trust in You.”

Elizabeth Montigny is the creator and performer of the Marian Theatre Project, a compilation of short plays based on the Rosary. Her next performance is on ​Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Church of the Holy Ghost in Tiverton, RI. Visit marianplay.com to learn more.


You might also like...

A weekly web series by Fr. Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC, introduces us to the meditations for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time by the Marian Founder. The goal is to allow Jesus to gaze into your heart and teach you self-examination, leading you to a more fruitful reception of Holy Communion at Sunday Mass, where there is a true encounter of our hearts with His Sacred Heart – especially fitting during this period of National Eucharistic Revival.

After St. Joseph (and perhaps St. Jude), could there be a more beloved and invoked saint than St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast we celebrate on June 13? Called upon as the reliable founder of lost articles, St. Anthony’s life and legacy are far greater than this role for which he is well known and revered.

It is said that there were more martyrs in the 20th century than in all centuries of Christian history combined. Here are two of them, on their feast day, June 12, both Marian priests.