Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
First of all, I want to offer profound thanks to everybody who made the family spirituality fair a success! What a grace that we accomplished something so important! I really don’t think there’s anything higher on our parish priority list than helping families live fully in Jesus Christ, i.e., helping families be the “domestic church” He calls them to be. I hope that the discussions and thought about family spirituality have only begun in our parish!
On Ash Wednesday and this weekend, the first weekend of Lent, we are passing out prayer cards with the image of the Divine Mercy. In His revelations to St. Faustina, Our Lord asked for a special prayer and meditation on His Passion each afternoon at the three o’clock hour, the hour that recalls His death on the cross – the Hour of Great Mercy. Here are Jesus’ words to her:
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. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (Diary, 1320).
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. (1572)
The Lord also asked that we pray the Stations of the Cross, or at least visit the Blessed Sacrament briefly at this hour, if at all possible. From these detailed instructions, it’s clear that Our Lord wants us to turn our attention to His Passion at the three o’clock hour to whatever degree our duties allow, and He wants us to ask for His mercy.
As part of our attempt to step more fully as a parish into the identity of our name “Divine Mercy”, I am suggesting that every parishioner try to pray the prayers on the back of that image. Ideally, this is done at 3 PM, the very hour that Jesus died on the cross. The prayers comprise the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” that Jesus gave to Saint Faustina. We say the Chaplet on our Rosary beads. The whole chaplet takes less than 10 minutes to recite. If you think you might not be able to commit to a whole chaplet at 3pm (or any time throughout the day, if 3pm doesn’t work in your schedule), then just try to say the prayers on the back of the card once through. If you can’t even manage the entire back of the the card, then at least say “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Jesus, I Trust in You.” At Payne we now have the bells in the tower ringing at 3pm, specifically to remind everybody about the 3pm hour.
Let’s see what the Holy Spirit does with this devotion in our lives! Have a blessed Lent!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,