Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday 2017 and God's Mercy

This year was the second year in a row that I gave a presentation on St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy Feast in my Church. After the Chaplet was sung at the 3:00 hour I gave my presentation. The importance of the time and the day, is not lost on me. It's a powerful, prayerful time to be in Church and to be talking about St. Faustina, her message from Jesus and the sacred image.
It so happened that as a prayer leader for the children, in the morning at the Children's Liturgy, it was my turn to give a talk to the children.  I gave a talk to young children and I spent some time talking about St. Faustina. I also gave them a prayer card with the sacred divine mercy image and those powerful words, "Jesus, I trust in you."

Well the children understood because when I asked them when they might use that powerful prayer, "Jesus I trust in you" they had some great answers. One little girl said she would say those words when she was being punished! And a young boy said when he was playing baseball and he was angry because the other team was winning, he would say to himself, "Jesus I trust in you." So they got the message and I was happy about that.

At the presentation, in the afternoon, I spoke about being open and aware. Open to the messages that Jesus gave to St. Faustina which were so important. St. Faustina wrote in her Diary, "Be receptive to God's mercy to the King of Mercy make time to come to God for graces and mercy.....As Jesus said, "My heart overflows with great mercy for souls."
The Feast of Divine Mercy is a day full of graces. Trusting in Jesus is the essence of the message of mercy that Sr. Faustina received from Jesus. Jesus said, "I have opened my heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. The graces of my mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only and that is trust. The more a soul trusts the more it will receive" (Diary 1578).
So it's important to be open to God's grace and mercy, to trust in all circumstances and let God's love and mercy transform your life.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Joy of Easter Sunday-Being in the Moment

Easter Sunday in  the Northeast was unusually warm and beautiful. A perfect Easter Sunday. The Easter Sunday Mass I attended was food and nourishment for my soul.  Afterwards as I served dinner for seventeen guests (with help from my cousins) we shared an Easter meal, but first we gave thanks and prayed.

What I particularly loved was that sitting in my backyard, small light pink flowers from a flowering tree were "snowing" on all of us....pure magic. Yes it was a "springtime snow" falling softly down on us from a huge flowering tree.

As my young cousins had an Easter egg hunt for which they were rewarded, I was reminded of all that I have to be grateful for. But most especially I am grateful for Jesus. What a blessing to understand the value of His suffering, death and resurrection. What a blessing to be aware of who Christ is for me, for the world. There are so many lost people who have no clue and don't understand how rich a relationship with Jesus is, how nurturing and comforting belief is.

I have been giving retreats this Spring. One of the first things I tell participants is they should congratulate themselves for being there. In that moment in time, when there are so many lost people, they have found and made time for God. They have their priorities straight. It's no small matter, to be on the right path, to have found, "The Way, the Truth and the Life."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Evil Showing Its "Ugly Face" in Different Ways in Different Parts of the World

The bombing of two Coptic Christian Churches in northern Egypt by suicide bombers on Palm Sunday which killed 44 innocent people during prayer is the "ugly face" of evil and extremism. The attacks took place in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria and wounded 126 people along with the dead, at the start of Holy Week, the holiest week in the Church year. This kind of blatant, "in our face" evil, evil actions and distorted and inhuman thinking must come to an end on this earth. Please Lord, save these poor and vulnerable people from such evil and horror. How can this evil continue?

That was this week. Last week we had to be alarmed and shocked by images of children and adults who suffered and were killed by a chemical attack in Syria. More horror. Pope Francis said, "We are horrified at the latest events in Syria." He condemned the attack with strong words.

President Trump decided to bomb a Syrian airfield with 59 missiles to send a clear message to the Syrian government that chemical weapons are illegal and using them against innocent civilians is an evil that cannot be tolerated. His decision was controversial but how can decent human beings ignore such horror and inhumanity?

We have to get through Good Friday to get to the joy of Easter Sunday but there are people whose lives have been destroyed through bombs, chemical attacks, drug addiction, hunger.....the list goes on.
Lord, send down your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Please Lord, hear my plea for peace, and all the prayers for peace!

"May the Lord convert the hearts of those who sow fear, violence and terror." (Pope Francis after celebrating Mass, reacted to the news of the bombings in Egypt)