EVERY day, an extraordinary grace is made available to us that previous generations did not have or were not aware of. It is a grace tailored for our generation who, since the early 20th century, is now living in a “time of mercy.”
THE BOWELS OF MERCY
The Breath of Life that Jesus breathes upon the Apostles after His resurrection is the power to forgive sins. Suddenly, the dream and directive given to St. Joseph comes into view:
…you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matt 1:21)
This is why Jesus came: to bestow mercy upon fallen mankind. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied that a new “day shall dawn upon us from on high” when God will give “salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins.” It will come, he says:
…through the tender mercy of our God. (Luke 1:78)
Or as the Latin translation reads “through the bowels of the mercy of our God.” Douay-Rheims It means that Jesus has come to pour out from the very depths of God’s being a tenderness upon us that astonishes even the angels. The point of Christianity or the Church, then, is to bring every individual soul on the planet into an encounter with this Divine Mercy. For as St. Peter said in today’s first Mass reading, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” Acts 4:12
YOURS FOR THE ASKING
God’s mercy, however, is not limited to the forgiveness of sins. It is also ordered to liberating us from the power of sin, healing us of its effects, and helping us to overcome it. It is our generation that is in most need of these graces. For it is to us that Jesus made known that, at three o’clock every day—the Hour of His death upon the Cross—His Sacred Heart remains open wide to us such that He will refuse “nothing”:
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. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion…. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1320
It is implied here especially, but not limited to, that Jesus will refuse “nothing” when we implore His mercy upon sinners. So many parents have written or spoken to me over the years how they grieve over their children and grandchildren who have left the faith. So I tell them, “You Be Noah.” For although God found among those on earth only Noah to be righteous, He extended that righteousness to His family. There is no better way, then, for you to “be Noah” than to ask Jesus in this Hour of Great Mercy to extend the ramp of His grace to your family members so they can enter the ark of His Mercy:
I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. 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. —Ibid. n. 1572
And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
HOW DO I DO THIS?
You might be thinking, “I’m a teacher, a businessman, a dentist etc. I can’t stop at three o’clock in the middle of my duties.” I will share with you what I do, and I assure you that you can do this. For Jesus, Himself encourages us to meditate on His Passion “if only for a brief moment.” In fact, He explains how to do this precisely according to one’s vocation:
My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. I claim veneration for My mercy from every creature, but above all from you, since it is to you that I have given the most profound understanding of this mystery. —Ibid. n. 1572
So, for the religious or priest, doing the Stations of the Cross or saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (that Jesus taught to St. Faustina) are ways that one can “immerse” oneself in Christ’s Passion. The more we do so, the more we personally benefit. But here, one must measure their vocation and duties and realize that not everything that is holy is holy for you.
When God created the world He commanded each tree to bear fruit after its kind; and even so He bids Christians—the living trees of His Church—to bring forth fruits of devotion, each one according to his kind and vocation. A different exercise of devotion is required of each—the noble, the artisan, the servant, the prince, the maiden and the wife; and furthermore such practice must be modified according to the strength, the calling, and the duties of each individual. I ask you, my child, would it be fitting that a Bishop should seek to lead the solitary life of a Carthusian? And if the father of a family were as regardless in making provision for the future as a Capuchin, if the artisan spent the day in church like a Religious, if the Religious involved himself in all manner of business on his neighbour’s behalf as a Bishop is called upon to do, would not such a devotion be ridiculous, ill-regulated, and intolerable? —St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part I, Ch. 3, p.10
Jesus is so eager to pour mercy out upon this world, that He will do so even if we pause “for a very brief instant.” So, in the busyness of my apostolate and family life, here is what I do when I am quite pre-occupied.
My watch alarm is set to go off every afternoon at three o’clock. When it does, I stop everything I am doing to “immerse myself completely in His Mercy.” Sometimes I can say a whole Chaplet. But most times, even with family members, I do the following:
♱ Make the Sign of the Cross
[If you have a crucifix, hold it in your hands
and simply love Jesus who loved you until the end.]
I offer You the Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
I trust in You
pray for us.
St. John Paul II,
pray for us.
♱ Make the Sign of the Cross
[kiss the crucifix.]
[Note: when praying this with others, they respond with the words in italics.]
This takes less than a minute. In less than sixty seconds, I have asked Jesus to pour out His mercy upon the world! I cannot see nor feel what is happening, but in that “brief moment,” I believe souls are being saved; that grace and light are piercing the darkness of someone on their deathbed; that some sinner is being pulled back from the brink of destruction; that some soul, crushed beneath the weight of despair, suddenly encounters the merciful presence of Love; that my family or friends who’ve left the faith are being touched somehow; that somewhere on earth, Divine Mercy is being poured out.
Yes, in this Hour of Great Mercy, this is how you and I exercise our royal priesthood in Christ. This is how you and I…
…complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church… (Colossians 1:24)
Easter is never over. Every day at three o’clock, dear Christian, you can help make the dawn from on high break upon the darkness of this world so that the bowels of mercy may be emptied once again.
The flames of mercy are burning Me—clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 177
Dear children! This is a time of grace, a time of mercy for each of you. —Our Lady of Medjugorje, allegedly to Marija, April 25th, 2019
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