Pilgrims Progress - It’s the Little Things

With the COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, the Marian Fathers at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, are once again welcoming pilgrims. Who are they, and what draws them here? The following is the latest in our "Pilgrims Progress" series. Meet Lisa and Dan, a married couple from Copake, New York:

Is this your first time visiting the Shrine? 

Lisa: No, no, we come here often. I’ve been coming here for around 20 years. We live only 45 minutes away in Copake, but my husband and I are originally from New York City. We like to come up here to get a little rest and relaxation. 

How did you first find out about Divine Mercy? 

Lisa: Well, about 30 years ago in New Hampshire, I was in this tiny little chapel in a town called Bartlet, and I picked up a pamphlet about St. Faustina. Of course, at the time she was Sr. Faustina; I don’t believe she was canonized yet. It was all about her and Divine Mercy, as well as how to pray the Chaplet. I had never even heard of the Chaplet before, but I found her story so fascinating that I started to pray it. Sometime after that, I found out about the Shrine and decided to come to visit. I was absolutely blown away by how beautiful it was. Now that my husband and I are retired, we’ve become much more frequent visitors. 

Have you had any Divine Mercy encounters in your life? 

Lisa: You know, I would say that it’s a long string of small things. Nothing that’s been really big or profound, but it’s the little daily things that keep me praying and connected to God. Ever since I found that pamphlet, I’ve felt called to Divine Mercy. It’s yielding a lot of fruits in my life. Once you connect with His mercy, He just puts so much grace in your life that it’s hard to remember it all. I look forward to reading the Marian Helper magazine stories, and the people who have had these massive conversions or miraculous things happen to them to bring them closer to Jesus. I wouldn’t say that I’m one of those grand stories, but I still feel greatly impacted by Divine Mercy every day. 

Dan: In recent times, since the pandemic started, we’ve been praying the Chaplet daily. She had already been doing it, but when the lockdowns started and we were stuck in the house, I asked her one day if I could pray with her. We’ve been doing it ever since. There’s a saying that God can bring good out of even the greatest evil, and I think that’s a great example of it. Personally, I feel as though my faith has grown tremendously in the past year, and I feel much much closer to God.

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Let me say that again.

Envy can creep into our hearts, even within the Church, even among people laboring in the vineyard.

Meekness - steadfast meekness, courageous meekness - is the means by which hearts can be converted.