Today, Good Friday, is the day on which we contemplate the suffering and death of Our Lord on the cross. It is also the first day in the Divine Mercy novena. In the year 2000, St. John Paul II designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. He did that on the day that he canonized a Polish nun named Sr. Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina died in 1938 at the age of 33. During her time in the convent she had mystical visions of Christ and reported her conversations with Him. In her conversations with Christ, Our Lord told her of His desire to pour out His mercy upon sinners and the terrible tragedy that, despite the Passion He suffered for us, people do not turn to Him to receive His mercy. Christ told St. Faustina that He wanted a particular image painted of Him that depicts the vision of His merciful divinity being poured out from His Sacred Heart upon the world. Around this devotion to Divine Mercy sprang up something called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which people pray on their rosary beads. The prayer that is repeated on the beads of the rosary is: “For the sake of Your sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” If you are interested in learning how to pray the chaplet, here’s a helpful website to check out: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/pray-the-chaplet
There is an excellent series on Divine Mercy hosted by Fr. Michael Gaitley, which all of our parishioners have access to (for free!) through our FORMED account. It’s called “Divine Mercy with Fr. Michael Gaitley” (https://watch.formed.org/divine-mercy-with-fr-michael-gaitley). He is an excellent speaker and his presentation lays out the historical, theological, and spiritual background to what he refers to as “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” and it involves saints, popes, Nazis, and Communists. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s an 11-part series. The episodes are only about 30min each and you can watch one or two a day over the next week in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. Please take a look and allow the mercy of God to change your life.(Please note, purchasing full-color guides is optional).
If you’ve never accessed the parish’s FORMED account, all you need to do is go to https://formed.org/, click on the “sign up” link, and then click the option that says: “I belong to a parish or organization.” You can find our parish by typing in our ZIP code, which is 06905. From there, they’ll send you an email and you will have access to all of the materials on the FORMED website. From then on, all you’ll have to do is “sign in” to the account.