Lord Have Mercy

Last Thursday myself and 9 others embarked on a pilgrimage to…Canada! What’s in Canada you ask?
Well this:

St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal

and this:

Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre (Mary’s Mama)

But mostly this:

Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal

However before heading up to our northern neighbors, our first stop was in Stockbridge, MA at The Shrine of the Divine Mercy.   This was one of my favorite parts of the trip and I could have stayed there for days.
We met a young religious named Brother Thaddeus who brought me to tears as he lovingly recounted the origins of the divine mercy devotion and the shrine.  For those who are hazy on the details, here’s the cliffnotes version: In the early 1900’s Jesus appeared numerous times to St. Faustina Kowalska and shared with her the truth of his divine mercy.  He revealed to her that the thing that hurts His heart the most is distrust.  You may have seen the image associated with the devotion:

The Divine Mercy Image – “Jesus, I trust in you.”

The idea of mercy is something I have been struggling with lately so this visit came at the perfect time.  I’ve been asking, what exactly is the definition of mercy? Since one of the charisms of the TOR Sisters in merciful love, it seems this idea is important for me to contemplate.  I kept coming up short until I began reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Michael Gaitley. He put it very simply: mercy means to alleviate the suffering of another.   This is what God longs to do and He also asks us to help alleviate the suffering of others.
One of the main things that Jesus asked St. Faustina to do was to teach others to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  When Our Lord was teaching Faustina how to say the chaplet, he said of it: “The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.”  He revealed the incredible power this chaplet has when it is said for those who are dying: “When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son.”  I could go on but here’s just two last quotes: “by saying this chaplet you are bringing humankind closer to Me.”
“My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you.  It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet.”
Jesus instructed that the chaplet should be prayed at 3 o’clock, but of course can be prayed at any time.  Consider taking 5 minutes out of your day to contemplate the divine mercy which God longs to shower upon us.  Here’s instructions on praying the chaplet with a rosary:

The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy – Stockbridge, MA

1. Make the Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

4. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

5. The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

6. The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
Personally, I love singing this chaplet, so here’s a musical version(pardon the cheesy gospelness):

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