This Divine Mercy Home Retreat will start two weeks after Ash Wednesday.
We all need Divine Mercy. As we enter more deeply into these critical and difficult times, the need to ask Our Lord to protect us and sustain our hope becomes more apparent. The purpose of this prayer blog is to help you understand the richness of Divine Mercy and to bring you into a deeper union with God through being merciful to others by action, word, and prayer, and by forgiving those who have hurt you. As you pray, and not just read, this blog, you will discover different spiritual realities that apply to your life.
This blog is a treasure. A serviceman stationed in Afghanistan, Dr. Clyde Redmond, had written to us explaining what a treasure the earlier edition of the Divine Mercy prayer book had been to him. He had read it every night and gained confidence that God would protect him.
This Divine Mercy blog is organized into 40 daily readings that focus on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Rich in Mercy. It also includes other meditations on Divine Mercy that draw you deeper into this devotion.
Pope John Paul II said many times during his 26-year pontificate that Rich in Mercy was the most important encyclical he had written. In this encyclical he explains “that man cannot be manifested in the full dignity of his nature without reference...to God. Man and man’s lofty calling are revealed in Christ through the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love.” To really get to know Pope John Paul II, enter into the meditations in this book.
As you proceed through the daily meditations, do not feel obliged to finish all of the specified readings for every day. If your heart is moved to remain on one part of the day’s reading, then focus your meditation on that part and talk to God about it, trusting that it is all He wants you to read that day.
To help you grasp and apply what you read in the daily meditations, you may want to watch, once a week, a series of videos that go along with this blog. On these video programs, Fr. George Kociski, explains the Rich in Mercy encyclical.
Drawing Down Divine Mercy can be read any time during the year, but it is most powerful when used in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy, the first Sunday after Easter and an official feast day of the Church. Therefore, I encourage you to read the daily meditations, beginning two weeks after Ash Wednesday. Then, for forty days, take the journey in plumbing the depths of Pope John Paul II’s spirit. The last nine days include the Divine Mercy Novena, which begins on Good Friday and leads up to Divine Mercy Sunday.
Our Lord told Saint Faustina, who later recorded this in her Diary (#699):
“My daughter, tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners.…On that day, all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. 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. 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.”
“I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary, 965).
As our Lord explained to Saint Faustina, Divine Mercy Sunday is a very special day of grace. On this day, to receive these special graces from God, you need to receive Holy Communion, go to Confession on or up to eight days before or after this day, and honor the image of Divine Mercy (see section 20e.3). Also, please do all you can to be an instrument of Mercy by sharing this blog with your friends. Tell them about the good news of Divine Mercy!
Using the daily mediations on this blog starting two weeks after Ash Wednesday makes a great Lenten practice. A companion to this blog is our Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary for Families prayer book. We recommend that families use this latter book each year, beginning November 5, in preparation for consecrating their families to the Holy Family on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, ending six days later on December 14. (This would make a good Advent practice.) Please note, however, that you can start this consecration on other dates as specified in the book.
We believe that once enough people have made their consecration and have abandoned themselves to Divine Mercy by being merciful to others, there will be a tremendous miracle of grace in our society—the Era of Peace that Our Lady of Fatima promised to the world, with the Holy Family of Fatima as our model.
Please also avail yourselves of the many other resources that will help consecrate your family in the truth by visiting www.familyland.org and by accessing our Interactive Family Catechism at www.familycatechism.com.