Divine Mercy Sunday was established in the April 30, 2000, when St. Faustina was canonized. St. Maria Faustina received the Divine Mercy image and messages of Divine Mercy from Our Lord between 1930 and 1938.
The Church has placed this feast in the Easter season because the promises of Divine Mercy follow the resurrection. And, because the Eucharist is required during the Easter season, it follows logically that one must go to Confession. This opportunity layers may aspects of liturgical blessings. This article lets you know of all you can benefit from the full observation of the Feast of Divine Mercy, and points to some of its principles to live out in your everyday life.
Divine Mercy Observances and Promises
As you approach Mass tomorrow, on the Feast of Divine Mercy, perhaps you have been praying the Divine Mercy Novena since Good Friday. To prepare for the Feast, these prescriptions are recommended, which include Confession within a seven day period preceding or following the feast, veneration of the image of Divine Mercy, reception of Communion and recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. The promises that follow observation of Divine Mercy are, in the words of St. Faustina’s shared revelation:
On that day, the depths of My Divine Mercy will be open to all. Whoever will go to confession and Holy Communion on that day will receive complete forgiveness of sin and punishment. Mankind will not enjoy peace until it returns to My Mercy.
Applying Divine Mercy in Our Lives
The Catechism reminds us that forgiveness is not just something we receive, but something we are obliged to offer others:
Be merciful as God is merciful. Practice works of Mercy, physically by helping others or spiritually by prayers of intercession.
What are the obstacles we face in forgiving others?
Personal hurts hold us back from forgiveness. Perhaps we feel the need to protect ourselves from further hurt, or perhaps our hurts are so deep that they clog our ability to offer forgiveness to others. That woundedness is something to offer to Our Lord, and ask him to heal. In that offering we have to see our hurt, and that may be something painful or something we’ve been avoiding. “Fear not,” as Our Lord reminds: Offer this pain to his Mercy, so that you may be healed. With that healing you will be able to heal other relationships.
Resentment may hold us back from showing mercy to others. Perhaps you’re a mom (like me) who resents ways others do not pick up their share of the family workload. Perhaps you feel overburdened at work. Perhaps you have a friendship in which you are the giver, but feel drained. Whatever the source of resentment, offer this before the Fount of Mercy. Ask God to heal this.
The Feast of Divine Mercy is a tremendous blessing to us in the Liturgical Year. Do not miss the opportunities to receive Divine Mercy, so you too can extend mercy in all your relationships. We all know we need divine strengthening for such work. Receive that in the Feast of Divine Mercy, and keep this before you by establishing a prayer practice of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily, especially during the Hour of Mercy — 3:00 to 4:00 pm. You can also pray this in song or chant.