‘Jesus, I trust in you’: A message for Divine Mercy Sunday from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Is there any more powerful expression of love on earth than showing mercy to others? Such love reflects the ultimate love shown by our Divine Lord during the days of his Passion, Death and Resurrection which we just celebrated in the Church.
Mercy is the love freely shown to us by God who first reveals himself to us and makes his presence known and felt. We do not ‘earn’ this mercy; we do not ‘deserve’ it; we do not have a ‘right’ to it. Mercy is a free gift of God that, when given, draws us into God’s very being, making God present ‘to’ us and then, ‘through’ us to others (Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy, 2016).
For the past 21 years, Catholics throughout the world have celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday on the Second Sunday of Easter. Originally added to the Church calendar by Pope St. John Paul II, Divine Mercy Sunday is based upon the private revelations of a Polish nun: Sister, now Saint, Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938).
In her “Diary,” St. Faustina communicated the message she received from the Lord Jesus:
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy (“Diary,” 699).
From her childhood, St. Faustina manifested great devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the mercy of God. Again, in her “Diary,” St. Faustina prayed, “O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life (“Diary,” 1242).” Her prayers were answered.
Continue reading Bishop’s message “Jesus, in You I trust” HERE.
The Easter Duty for Catholics: A Precept of the Catholic Church
A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
In addition to the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses as found in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21) that oblige Jews and Christians to this very day, the Catholic Church has established its own set of particular commandments or “precepts” that bind the baptized Catholic faithful. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
The Precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayers and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041).
The Precepts of the Church are as follows:
- Attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
- Confession of serious sin at least once a year
- Reception of Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season (ordinarily Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday)
- Observance of the days of fast and abstinence
- Providing for the needs of the Church
Continue reading Bishop’s message about our Easter Duty HERE.