A Spiritual Emergency

by Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN

Watching two residential condominium towers collapse in disbelief that has caused total destruction and sudden loss of life, instantly killing those asleep or severely injuring many-with little or no warning is a cause for prayer for these victims.   As a burn and trauma nurse, I watched realizing the magnitude of the medical emergencies as a result of the injuries and inability for rescue teams to reach the injured and dying due to the unstable debris field and magnitude of the disaster.  For those buried in the rubble, hope is still present with the tremendous response of prayer.   Disaster teams are working day and night, including healthcare professionals on site, to render immediate medical assistance for anyone that is found under these extremely hazardous conditions-so we can continue to pray.

I am convinced that if we cannot be on the scene physically to assist the injured, our spiritual presence by prayer and heeding the promises of Jesus by praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet is powerful and life-saving.

Spiritual Act of Mercy- The Divine Mercy Chaplet

The moment I heard of the building collapse, I immediately thought of the words of Jesus and His promises:

Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer (1777).

At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or, when others say it for a dying person; the pardon is the same (811).

Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet (848).

When we pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet for those in a tragedy, be they near or far away, we are performing a spiritual act of mercy. We are allowing the grace of Divine Mercy to radiate to their souls. We apply the power of Our Savior’s Precious Blood and Water at the moment when it is most needed. For, as St. Peter reminds us, “It is by His wounds we are healed” (1 Pet 2:24), either physically here, if that is for the persons spiritual benefit, or with full restoration in eternity. But our care for the sick is as for Jesus Himself:  “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Mt 25:40).

The Chaplet was given by Jesus to be prayed for any and every intention, but he specifically emphasized its use on behalf of the dying. When a person is dying as part of a catastrophic event, we should entrust him/her to Jesus—The Divine Mercy and pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet in Tragedy

Catastrophic events present all of us with occasions to exercise efficacious spiritual works of mercy at the most critical moments of life-the hour of death. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is the most appropriate prayer that can be offered for victims who may not otherwise be rescued or able to be assisted. It truly becomes their “last hope of salvation,” as declared by Our Lord, and a means of hope and consolation for those related to them. Praying the Chaplet for those seriously injured and dying in tragedies makes them  become powerful instruments of God’s saving grace.

God’s Powerful Final Grace of Mercy

We look to what St. Faustina tells us about caring spiritually for the dying and this gives us great hope.

“I often attend upon the dying, and through entreaties obtain for them trust in God’s mercy, and I implore God for an abundance of divine grace, which is always victorious. God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God”(1698).

Realizing that God’s mercy is infinite and incomprehensible, what St. Faustina is telling us is that God directly intervenes with the soul, giving the soul the last chance for true contrition and salvation, despite the fact that no sacramental Confession or the Anointing of the Sick was possible.

It is at such times we can also pray with short, “dart-like prayers,” sent in the direction of heaven for mercy on behalf of the victims and their families, such as:  Jesus, be merciful! or,  Jesus, I trust in You! or, O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus, as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You (187).

The Hour of Great Mercy - 3:00 PM

Three o’clock is the hour of Jesus’ death, He said:  At three o’clock implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. ... In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (1320).

The spiritual fruitfulness of remembering the Hour of Great Mercy and praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of the promises of Jesus.  When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus, as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You! (186-7). By praying for sinners and the needs of others with confidence, we also fulfill the conditions that constitute the heart of this devotion: trust and deeds of mercy.  But the promise for the observance of this Hour is extraordinary. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world—mercy triumphed over justice (1572).

All those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle (1540).

Our Lady Health of the Sick – Pray for Us

As often as we recite the Hail Mary, we ask Our Immaculate Mother to pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. We turn to her to intercede for us at our life’s most important moment and she obtains for us mercy and grace through her Divine Son. She never ceases to call us to place trust in the unlimited fruitfulness of the work of her Son’s redemption, to seek forgiveness for all sins, even the slightest, to seek purity of heart and be imbued with divine grace and love in order to live a life of eternal happiness in heaven. In union with Christ and together with Mary, become intercessors and advocates for the spiritual and sacramental care for these injured and dying victims.   You have become their spiritual intercessor and advocate.

I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life...

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.  In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where I am going you know the way.”  Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (Jn 14:1-6, 23, 27).

Hope in Jesus, The Divine Mercy is a tremendous consolation for the families of the victims and our prayers as a Christian community allows us to reach out and touch their hearts in prayer.  We entrust all the victims and their families to Jesus, The Divine Mercy for healing and ask His mercy and that they would be consoled with our prayers for them at this time of great need.   If each family knows we prayed for them, what a comfort in time of great sorrow.

Jesus I Trust in You!

Image: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department/Handout via REUTERS

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