April 14, 1996 . . . 2:30 PM . . . Queen of Martyrs Church, Evergreen Park, IL. An almost filled church awaits the start of the Prayer Service in honor of the Lord of Divine Mercy, on this first Sunday after Easter. Pope Saint John Paul II announced this inspiring Feast in 1993.
In the opening procession, two men carry a large image of the Lord as He appeared to Sister Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament. Born Helen Kowalska in a suburb of Krakow, Poland, she entered Our Lady of Mercy Religious Order. Sickly, with little education, at the age of 20 she threw herself into the little tasks around the convent, doing all, with great love for her Lord.
In 1933, the Lord began a long series of visits to His humble servant, ending only at her death in 1938. “Be a messenger of My Mercy to the world.” “Mercy” means more than just “forgiveness”. It includes all ways of showing love to others: kindness, gentleness, patience, healing, and encouragement. In the Presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, the people assembled in Queen of Martyrs Church offered prayers to the Lord of Divine Mercy . . . a peaceful, prayerful time.
As the speaker for this occasion, I used the ABC schema made up by Saint Faustina, for fostering love for the Christ of Divine Mercy: A – Ask for mercy (love) from Christ B – Be merciful (a loving person) C – Completely trust in the Lord
Truth tells us that the Lord’s Love for each one remains always the same, whether we are saints or sinners. When I sin in a serious way, Christ doesn’t turn His back on me or scowl at my behavior. His care and love continues to envelope me. However, by my sin, I cripple myself in my ability to return love to the Lord. My eyes grow dim and hinder me from seeing His Presence in my life . . . my ears lose their sharp sense of hearing God’s messages to me . . . my heart turns stony with a consequent inability to love back.
A friend of mine, Father Michael Hollings (RIP, 1921-1997) used to say, “We come from God’s Hands as His loving creation, His daughters and sons. His love follows us wherever we go.” Today, on the Feast of Divine Mercy, ask our Loving Lord for His Mercy, show kindness and love to all you meet, and completely trust that He is with us even in our darkest moments.
Fr. George Mc Kenna
This parable story helped me to see the meaning of life more clearly. Once upon a time, an infant began to grow in the womb of its mother. As the months went by, the little one enjoyed a peace and tranquility that it would never possess in life outside the womb. For one thing, it had no responsibilities since the mother took care of all its needs.
One day, a voice came to the infant, “In a certain sense, you are going to have to die, leave this world of your mother’s womb and enter a fantastic world of beauty and enjoyment. Here nature will show you marvelous things, the stars, the moon and a great ball of fire, the sun, along with an amazing number of animals, birds, and insects dressed in all the colors of the spectrum! You will delight in human friendships, in music and art of all kinds.”
On hearing this message, the infant, not understanding the words immediately declared, “I want to stay here.” However, Nature took its course, ushering the child into the new world with its noise and brightness. Here, the child grew into an adult, thoroughly enjoying the beauty and the thrilling experience of life. How delighted he was that he didn’t stay in the womb of his mother.
After many years, a voice once again came to this person, “You are going to die and go into another world where you will see God face to face. In this world, no one experiences sickness, pain, or discomfort of any kind. All are perfectly happy.”
Again, the person did not comprehend these words. One thing he knew – that he didn’t want to leave this earth so full of beauty and many little pleasures. “I want to stay here”, he responded. However, death ushered him in the next world. The reality of joy and glory he found in this new world far exceeded his wildest dreams and hopes. In the atmosphere of this loving home of God, his whole being expanded with happiness and delight.
How glad he was that he didn’t stay on earth with its meager bits of peace and miss this stupendous place of love. Life on earth is not our lasting home. We are only passing through, so there is no need to get upset about too many things. Love God, and serve Him alone.
Fr. George Mc Kenna