Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
In 1935, the first Mass was celebrated in front of the image of the painting of Divine Mercy. Sister (now Saint) Faustina Kowalska, was present. With her personal revelations from the Lord, we came to understand the devotion to Divine Mercy. She was told to keep a diary of what she heard from the Lord. One notation read:

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls. ... If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy.”

Pope John Paul II recognized in Sister Faustina’s writings a message that was truly from Christ, and relevant to all mankind in every day and age. On April 30, 2000, the first Sunday following Easter, Pope John Paul both canonized Sister Faustina and declared in his homily of that day his own desire that the “Second Sunday of Easter ... from now on throughout the world will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’

And here we are. Now there is a devotion called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. These are prayers that can accompany praying the rosary. You can find cards with those prayers in front of the image of Divine Mercy that hangs in our Infant of Prague chapel next to the sacristy.

I have very happy memories of Jay Mann who acquired that picture of Divine Mercy. We blessed it on the last day Jay was at St. Sebastian. He left for vacation and passed away that summer. His wife Carol and daughter Mary Lou knew how devoted he was to the Divine Mercy message. I was glad he saw his wish accomplished. He had been asking me for a while. That was April 2017.

Today, the idea I keep coming back to - like a thunderclap - is wondering and hoping that the emphasis we place on God’s mercy not only fills us with gratitude, but regenerates the way we show mercy to one another. Notice on the bottom of the picture are the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.” The only way we really trust in Him is by sharing that trust with one another. In the days of COVID-19 when we are all garbed in masks and separated by six feet of space, it’s hard to feel trust.

unitedwestandAnd yet, maybe that’s precisely the point. When more than now, are we asked to come together in a unity of mind and heart that transcends physical space? Stephen Colbert’s T-shirt says it all: <> (Proceeds go to feeding programs.)

Today, we join in gratitude for all the service providers. You don’t realize just how many people keep our lives going until there is a danger of losing them.

Today, I give thanks for companies like Kia (motors) who are reaching out to homeless kids who can’t wash their hands and have no place to isolate themselves.

Today, we ask God for a renewed sense of what mercy really means in our time.
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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