Open your heart to God's infinite mercy

The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope John Paul II instituted this feast in 2000 based on the private revelations received in the 1930s by a humble Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska. In her diary, Faustina recorded Jesus telling her, “I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy.” Jesus also gave her the chaplet of Divine Mercy, promising, “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.” You can pray the chaplet on ordinary rosary beads.

A vocation of mercy

I grew up Catholic without ever hearing about the Divine Mercy devotion, which the church celebrates annually on the Sunday after Easter. Even after I had learned about it, I didn’t understand it. A few sisters in my community placed great confidence in the Divine Mercy image and chaplet, but it never really appealed to me. “Why focus on the sorrowful passion and wounds of Christ when we should be singing our Easter alleluias?” I wondered.

Divine mercy and the woman at the well

I had the enormous privilege recently of addressing English-speaking priests from around the world who had gathered in Rome for a special jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy. I met fathers from the United States, Canada, Australia, Latvia, Ghana, Cameroon, Ireland, Nigeria and many other countries. During Communion at the Mass that followed my talk, I saw hundreds of priests in their albs coming to the altar to receive the Lord, and I thought of the passage from the Book of Revelation concerning the white-robed army gathered around the throne of the lamb.

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