We tried something new this year. Since all the churches are locked and we have no access to the Sacraments, we had to take matters into our own hands. Divine Mercy Sunday is too big of a deal to allow it to pass us by.

Lead by Deacon Kurt Godfryd, we organized a virtual prayer service to take advantage of the promises offered in connection to this celebration. I’d like to thank Father Chris Alar of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge for giving us the idea. We took the inspiration from this YouTube video posted below.

This is our celebration of the Lord’s promises to St Faustina. Please pray along and receive God’s unfathomable mercy. If you’d like to slides we used in this service, please use the button below.


Fr. Chris Alar’s Message of Hope

Partial Transcript

Even though churches are closed and you cannot go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, you can receive these special graces this Sunday, April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday. And we’re going to tell you how.

Let’s begin by reading what is arguably the most important passage in St. Faustina’s Diary, when Jesus tells St. Faustina:

I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699).

Diary of St Faustine

There it is. Jesus promises that the soul that’s been to Confession and receives Holy Communion will be completely wiped away of the two stains that are on our soul. Those stains are sin and the punishment due to sin. The special grace promised by our Lord for Divine Mercy Sunday is nothing less than the equivalent of a complete renewal of baptismal grace in the soul.

But how can you receive this complete forgiveness of sins and remission of all punishment? After all, churches are closed and Confession and Communion are not available. 

There is, however, still a way to receive this grace. Do these three things on Divine Mercy Sunday with the intention to turn away from sin in your life:

Make an Act of Contrition

Since you are unable to get to Confession, make an Act of Contrition, instead. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again'” (1451).

You thereby will be completely forgiven of all sins, even “mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (Catechism, 1452).  

Make a Spiritual Communion

Since churches are closed and you cannot receive Holy Communion, make a Spiritual Communion instead, asking God to come into your heart as if you received Him sacramentally — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For instance, you can say this:

Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament. 
I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. 
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart. 
As though You were already there, 
I embrace You and unite myself to You; 
permit not that I should ever be separated from You. 
Amen. 

Again, do this act of trust with the intent to return to the sacrament of Holy Communion as soon as possible.  

Say a prayer like this:

Lord Jesus Christ, You promised St. Faustina that the soul that has been to Confession [I’m unable, but I made an Act of Contrition] and the soul that receives Holy Communion [I’m unable, but I made a Spiritual Communion] will receive the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment. Please, Lord Jesus Christ, give me this grace.

Finally, please remember that this extraordinary promise of Divine Mercy Sunday is for everyone. Tell your non-Catholic friends about it. Everyone can ask Jesus to forgive their sins. Everyone can make a Spiritual Communion. And everyone can ask for this grace to completely wipe their slate clean of not only all sin, but all punishment due to sin. Normally, the punishment is not remitted unless one has absolute perfect contrition. And unlike a plenary indulgence, there is no requirement of having perfect detachment from sin. In other words, as long as we have a desire for this grace and intention to amend our lives, we can be completely cleansed with grace similar to our original Baptism. It is a way to really start over in our spiritual life! 

“I promise you, it will be the most important thing you ever do in your entire life. In fact, it could mean the difference in your salvation. And Jesus told St. Faustina, Divine Mercy is mankind’s last hope of salvation [see Diary, 998]. Please don’t let this grace pass you by.” 

Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers

We’re brothers in good times and in bad.  This is one of the bad times.  Shannon posted this morning that Mark’s son Danny passed away yesterday.  She asked me to get the word out.

Daniel Esper
Malburg Funeral Home
Saturday, November 10th
Visitation 1-8pm
Service at 7pm

I have the untoward job of sending these kinds of notes. This particular time, I’m saddened beyond words.  This is every parent’s worst case scenario.  Mark has a big heart.  I can barely imagine the pain it’s experienced.   I’m going to call my son right now and tell him I love him.

You’re all men of deep faith.  Please hold Mark, Danny, Shannon and their entire family up in prayer.  Keep them in your prayers going forward.  Prayer matters.

Shannon’s post on Facebook today.

danny

In happier times.

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RIP Danny

danny

Please make an effort to show up on Saturday.

 

Today marks the National Day of Prayer for Life which is outlined below. During these challenging times for many, prayer is one thing that should remain consistent throughout our daily activities.
Whether it be at Mass, at work, or in the comfort of your home, please take time to pray for a change in our Culture in our efforts in Protecting the Sanctity of Human Life.
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Knights, Sisters of Life Urge Prayer for Life

At a Mass on May 3, 2010, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the passing of His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York initiated a National Prayer Campaign for Life, which is being co-sponsored by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus.

Knights, Catholics and all people of good will are invited to join in raising up a great prayer for life across the nation through the daily recitation of this prayer:

Eternal Father, Source of Life,

strengthen us with your Holy Spirit
to receive the abundance of life you have promised.

Open our hearts to see and desire
the beauty of your plan for life and love.

Make our love generous and self-giving so that we may be blessed with joy.

Grant us great trust in your mercy.

Forgive us for not receiving your gift of life
and heal us from the effects of the culture of death.

Instil in us and all people reverence for every human life.

Inspire and protect our efforts on behalf of those most vulnerable
especially the unborn, the sick and the elderly.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus,
who by His Cross makes all things new. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

 

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SJPII

Four years ago today, Pope John Paul II was canonized and named a saint. Join us in celebrating this great saint who inspired so many people as priest, bishop, cardinal and pope. Even now, St. John Paul II continues to bring people closer to Christ through his legacy. In honor of him, share this prayer for St. John Paul II’s intercession today:

O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him.
Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will,
the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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I was at church this week on Monday.  We were having a First Degree.  I was there just helping get stuff set up.  We had a good turn-out and I didn’t stay until the end of the ceremony.    As I was leaving, about 7:15 pm or so, I saw the light on in the Sanctuary.  I then heard the prayers in unison from across the silent church.  As they do most nights, a group gathers in the evening and offers prayers.

Standing there, listening to them in a mostly dark church on a cold January day, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what praying sounds like to God.   We Knights send out many prayer requests for our members and their family’s.  We see requests from friends on Facebook that say “pray for me” or “keep me in your prayers.”  There’s something special about praying in community, everyone saying the same thing, at the same time.   Before our meetings, many of us gather and pray a Rosary together, in a community.

I have this great app on my iPhone, it’s called Divine Office.  It always starts out with the following introduction.

From ancient times, the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of hours.   In this way, the Church fulfills the Lords precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.

One of the many cool features is the “Now In Prayer” view.  It lights up the planet with people who are actively using the app (and therefore we can assume, praying.)

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I’d like to see this same view with all the people praying in any format, in a community, in their car, in bed before going to sleep, in the morning before getting up, etc.  I suspect the globe would be awash in light.

“We have no command to work and to pass the night in vigils and to fast constantly. However, we do have an obligation to ‘pray without ceasing.’” This quotation from Evagrius Ponticus (c. 345-399), is a good reflection of the belief of the early Christians about prayer. In the letters of St. Paul we frequently see the injunction to pray ceaselessly, as, for example in 1 Thessalonians 5:17(“Pray without ceasing”) and Romans 12:12 (“Be constant in prayer”), and Ephesians 6:18 (“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”). In the Gospels themselves, Jesus emphasizes persistent prayer, as in Luke 18 where Jesus taught the disciples a parable “to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” These passages of Scripture were taken very seriously by the early Church and much discussion was given to this idea and how it could be achieved.”  (Taken from Portsmouth Abbey website document here.)

Praying in community at St Clement of Rome on a cold January evening.

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