What do you think of when you hear the word mercy?
Beg for mercy.
These are all common expressions.
I watch a lot of sports, especially college baseball and softball. So I think of the ole mercy rule … where a game is stopped when one team scores a lot of runs on the other team after a certain number of innings.
Merriam-Webster defines mercy as:
“Compassion or forbearance … shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power.”
Whatever comes to mind, the reality is that mercy is all around us … we just don’t think too much about it.
It’s inevitable in life. Someone is going to be offended from time to time.
Friends, family members or co-workers ask us for forgiveness. We ask God for forgiveness. We ask someone we’ve harmed for forgiveness. Other people ask God for forgiveness.
We are called to be forgiving.
It’s one of the lessons we learn early on as a child. And though it’s difficult at times … even now as an adult … we try our best to give and get forgiveness. To be merciful.
Perhaps we are the hardest on ourselves though. It’s uncomfortable to ask others for forgiveness. And it can be difficult to ask God for His forgiveness. Especially when it’s been a while. So we put it off.
We saw last week how Jesus Christ gave us the ultimate example of forgiveness … in His life and in His death. Afterall, he was an innocent lamb betrayed by Judas … and yet He forgave. Jesus was led to slaughter … and yet He forgave. And He ultimately died for the forgiveness of our sins. Yet He forgave.
On Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy, also called Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s a wonderful day that is relatively new to our church … only beginning in 2000 with the canonization of Saint Faustina.
The main message for Divine Mercy Sunday is that the Lord is merciful and wants to forgive us our sins. All we have to do is ask!
This week’s Genuflect focuses on this special Divine Mercy Sunday. The history and timeline of how it began with a nun in Poland and ultimately came to be a feast day with a plenary indulgence attached … how to receive a full or partial plenary indulgence on Sunday … the Divine Mercy chaplet prayer … and some resources to assist with confession.
So regardless of how you think about mercy, you’ll be prepared to live a merciful life.
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What is Divine Mercy Sunday? When and why did the church start celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday? Here’s what you need to know.
Here is a timeline that lays out the history of the message and devotion to Divine Mercy, beginning with the birth of Helena Kowalska in Poland in 1905 and ending in 2002 with the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued on Indulgences attached to devotions in honor of Divine Mercy.
As a person, as a country, as a world, do we not need God’s mercy more and more in these times? For the sake of our souls, can we afford not to listen to what Jesus told us through St. Faustina about his mercy and what our response to it should be? Here are 17 things Jesus revealed to St. Faustina.
Here’s how to receive a plenary indulgence or partial indulgence on the Feast of Divine Mercy.
We know that God is merciful. We know from Scripture that he is full of mercy when we turn to him, seek forgiveness, and ask for his grace to seek his way for our life. But the phrase “hour of great mercy” may be less familiar. Here’s how to obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking.
Here’s what the Divine Mercy Chaplet is, how to recite the chaplet, and the intentions for each day if you want to pray the Divine Mercy Novena.
Pope Francis said the “stone of sin” blocks many hearts. “Sin is looking for life among the dead, for the meaning of life in things that pass away,” he explained. Here’s how.
On Easter Sunday, the gospels leave us with an empty tomb and a divided community, some bewildered, some doubtful, some believing but confused, some heading for the hills, not knowing what to think. Many of us may have been walking with the Lord for decades, but there’s a grief or a shame or a fear that we haven’t yet handed over to the Lord, an area where we’re still living that early Easter morning uncertainty. This is why the Church invites us to enter into the other post-resurrection accounts in the weeks after Easter.
As humans living in a fallen world, we often sin, and this can be difficult to handle on certain occasions. Yet, instead of falling into despair, we should run quickly to the loving arms of God. Italian priest Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli gives his powerful advice concerning sin.
Priests know how difficult confession can be, and Pope Francis has urged us to make the sacrament of penance “not a prosecuting court, but an experience of forgiveness and mercy,” writes Father Hawkswell. Here’s more about why you should go to confession.
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