“O My God
When I look into the future, I am frightened, But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me, As the future may never enter my soul at all.
It is no longer in my power,
To change, correct or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust to God.
O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire, I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence.
And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child, Offering You each day this heart Burning with love for Your greater glory.” (2) Diary, Divine Mercy of My Soul, St. Faustina Kowalska
As I wrote last week, in (Part One) The DM Trifecta, The Divine Mercy Chaplet was dictated to St. Faustina by the Lord Jesus Himself in Vilnius on September 13-14, 1935, as a prayer of atonement and for the appeasement of God‟s wrath (see Diary, 474-476).
Those who recite this Chaplet offer to god the Father “the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity,” of Jesus Christ in atonement for their sins, the sins of their loved ones, and those of the entire world. By uniting themselves with the sacrifice of Jesus, they appeal to the great love that our Heavenly Father has for His Son and, in Him, for all humanity.
By means of this prayer, the petitioners request “mercy on us and on the whole world,” and by so doing, they perform a work of mercy. If the faithful add to this the foundation of trust and fulfill the conditions regarding every good prayer (humility, perseverance, matters in conformity with God’s will), they can expect the fulfillment of Christ’s promises which are particularly related to the hour of death: the grace of conversion and a peaceful death. Not only will the people who say the Chaplet receive these graces, but also the dying at whose side others will recite this prayer.
For the Second Part of The DM Trifecta we will focus on: The Great Hour of Mercy.
“My daughter, be diligent in writing down every sentence I tell you concerning My mercy, because this is meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it.” (Diary 1142)
Just as the Image can serve as a reminder of the ocean of Divine Mercy, as well as its price, so can the daily remembrance of the Divine Mercy at the hour of Christ’s death. Jesus asked Saint Faustina, and through her us, to celebrate this Hour of Great Mercy, promising tremendous graces to those who would, both for themselves and on behalf of others.
In October, 1937, in Cracow, under circumstances that are not fully described by [St.] Faustina, the Lord Jesus recommended that she honor the hour of His death: “….as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul” (Diary, 1572).
The Lord Jesus also determined the prayers that are appropriate for this form of the Divine Mercy devotion: “….try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant” (Diary, 1572).
In His revelations to St. Faustina, Our Lord asked for a special prayer and meditation on His Passion each afternoon at the three o’clock hour, the hour that recalls His death on the cross.
At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (Diary, 1320).
As often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world — mercy triumphed over justice. (1572)
From these detailed instructions, it’s clear that Our Lord wants us to turn our attention to His Passion at the three o’clock hour to whatever degree our duties allow, and He wants us to ask for His mercy.
In Genesis 18:16-32, Abraham begged God to reduce the conditions necessary for Him to be merciful to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, Christ Himself offers a reduction of conditions because of the varied demands of our life’s duties, and He begs us to ask, even in the smallest way, for His mercy, so that He will be able to pour His mercy upon us all.
We may not all be able to make the Stations or adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament, but we can all mentally pause for a “brief instant,” think of His total abandonment at the hour of agony, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, Mercy,” or “Jesus, for the sake of Your Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
This meditation, however brief, on Christ’s Passion brings us face-to-face with the cross, and, as Pope John Paul II writes in Rich in Mercy, “It is in the cross that the revelation of merciful love attains its culmination” (8). God invites us, the Holy Father continues, “to have ‘mercy’ on His only Son, the crucified one” (8). Thus, our reflection on the Passion should lead to a type of love for Our Lord which is “not only an act of solidarity with the suffering Son of man, but also a kind of ‘mercy’ shown by each one of us to the Son of the Eternal Father.”