'Mercy Sunday' Arrives At Time Of Crisis And Reminds Us Of Power Of The Liturgy
By Michael H. Brown
As we celebrate Mercy Sunday, we recall an interesting bit of information from the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska (who received the Divine Mercy revelations). In 1938, the nun recorded the following: "As I was praying for Poland, I heard the words: I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My Will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming."
This of course begs the question: was she referring to Pope John Paul II -- Karol Wojtyla -- who hails from Poland? Will his death (which, God-willing, will not be too soon) begin a chain of major events?
No one knows (maybe the prophecy is more directly pertinent to the status of Poland itself, not to a particular person), but we do know that a purification -- God's justice -- has begun, that events could take a dramatic turn, and that there is special relevance to the fact that the crises in both the Church and the Middle East (centered at the very birthplace of Jesus) erupted just before Divine Mercy Sunday. It allows us the opportunity to implore Jesus' help at a critical time.
Don't get us wrong: God is not just mercy. He is justice. And His justice is beginning to speak. But it is still a time of grace -- and so we invoke, plead for, and adore the mercy of God at the same time that we pray for the conversion of the world so it will earn an alleviation of the rising crises.
Urgently we must meditate on the connection between mercy and the liturgy, which should be the center of Divine Mercy Sunday. During Holy Mass Sister Faustina felt enveloped by a "great interior fire," "all aflame," her diary says -- and that's because the divine floodgates are open when we attend Mass seeking God's Mercy, a mercy that burns away our evil and chases away danger.
Indeed, mercy is the essential element at several points of the liturgy. When we invoke mercy, when we approach Jesus with trust, He fills our souls with such an abundance of grace that we radiate it outward -- to an ailing, endangered world.
"Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God," Jesus told Sister Faustina. "All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy. I desire the whole world know My infinite Mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My Mercy. The flames of mercy are burning Me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace. Tell all people, My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself."
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