What is Divine Mercy you ask? It is pretty deep, like the ocean. In a couple sentences, Mercy is the fact that God LOVES us unconditionally! Divine Mercy is the fact that no sin can out weigh God’s love and forgiveness.
This weekend is the Second Sunday of Easter called Divine Mercy in the liturgy. Pope John Paul II not only died on the eve of this prominent feast day but actually declared the feast and dedicated his life work to it. Divine Mercy is the ability to gather God’s graces! If you do one thing this weekend, find a church and step inside! I know I will, many miles away from our home town parish.
Saint Faustina Kowalska was declared a Saint in the year 2000 by Pope Saint John Paul II. The feast day of Saint Faustina is celebrated on October 5 the same day my husband and I were married in 1991. It is also the same day my parents were engaged to be married, many years prior. I vividly recall my mom mentioning the prominence of that date every year as we celebrate our sacramental wedding anniversary. For that reason, I have a profound connection to Saint Faustina, the first Saint that ever wrote about Divine Mercy.
Today, I explained to our daughter the prominence of the Divine Mercy image. It is entirely providence that while we were sitting by the ocean the sun was shining with beaming rays. In the Divine Mercy image the ray of red represents the blood of Jesus and light blue represents the water that He shed when He died for our sins. His love is truly deeper than the ocean and it was then that I realized, we were sitting by the ocean of God’s unfathomable love!! There was no denying it.
The significane of Divine Mercy this weekend is not by chance. I guess I am a visual person! I needed the ocean. I personally gave to God all that weighed on my heart. And, it was then that He provided! God always has something far greater in mind when we let go of whatever it is that we hold onto. Why not let your test become your testimony? My prayer is that the world will know the LOVE of God as deep and as wide as the ocean. Say it: Jesus, I trust in you.
Good Friday (3.25.16) was a symbolic day for the new sacred art mosaic to be installed in the Eucharistic Perpetual Adorarion Chapel. Fr. Pat Click prayed over the the hands of the artists and blessed them. The piece was designed not only to transform the sacred space but the lives of those who encounter it.
The feast of the Annunciation (normally celebrated on 3.25) of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), his announcement that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord, and Mary’s fiat, her willing acceptance of God’s holy plan.
[Note: March 25 is the date of Annunciation unless that date falls on a Sunday in Lent, at any time during Holy Week, or at any time in the octave of Easter (from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter). In that case, the celebration is transferred either to the following Monday or to the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday.]
Pope Francis challenged us to live out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy by entrusting a whole year to Our Mother of Mercy.
Of Mary’s many titles, her role is to take us to her Son. For this reason, almost every Pope has consecrated his life to Mary. However, consecration is not limited to priests and religious, alone. Consecration to Mary is for EVERYONE! (Reverend Michael R. Gaitley author of 33 Days to Morning Glory).
“It is fitting that a new sacred art mosaic would adorn Mary, Our Mother of Mercy in this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, just in time for Easter! Alleluia! It took many months of prayer and discernment for the perfect sacred art design and colors to come to life of course through the power of the Holy Spirit,” said Father Pat Click. Church documents dictate “the integrity and energy of a piece of art, produced individually by the labor of a artist, is always to be preferred above objects that are mass produced.” (147 Built of Living Stones).
It all began in 1994 when the idea of a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at Saint Louis de Montfort Church in Fishers, Indiana was conceived by Reverend Donald Eder, the pastor. Since then, every day, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, many parishioners and non-parishioners alike, pray in silence before the monstrance of Jesus made visible in the Body of Christ. Scripture says, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Hundreds of people, beyond scheduled adorers come in and out of the Chapel throughout the day, everyday for many reasons. It is a sacred place where people can hear God speak to them. People leave their prayers at the feet of Jesus when they depart from the busy world to sit or kneel, alone with Jesus. The scripture, “Be still and know that I am God”(Psalm 146) is a gentle reminder depicted on the wall as you enter.
The side altar with candles is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, Our Mother of Mercy. The side altar was reconstructed from the former main altar in church by parishioner, Mr. Steve Grusak. Grusak also helped to construct the current altar in church that was dedicated by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana Bishop, Timothy L. Doherty, in 2011.
“We are blessed beyond words to have the artistic expertise of Mrs. Mireille Wannemuehler, the Saint Louis de Montfort School art teacher and a parishioner that generously shared her gifts and talents in constructing the sacred mosaic for our Adoration Chapel” said Reverend Joshua Janko. “And, it will add to the holy and sacred atmosphere of the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel where you can light a candle for yourself or someone else.” Scripture says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Mireille turned hours of weeks and months into prayer over each tiny mosaic piece.
Another blessing came in the generosity of a parishioner who has dedicated much of his life to Mary. Dave Kinder traveled with the late Fr. Donald Eder and many parishioners to Marian shrines all over the world. He is also an intrical part in the construction at Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington, Indiana where a street sign on the property is named to honor him. When it was time to highlight Mary’s new mosaic, the sacred art committee knew exactly who to turn to. Kinder proposed blue, glass blown pendants on either side of Mary for consideration.
Appropriately, there are many interesting observations in the Bible about the color blue. Mary is clothed in blue signifying stability, trust, tranquility, and purity. Blue can also represent transcendence with its connection to the sky.
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy illustrate ways we can show Mercy toward others like praying for the living and the dead, through the intercession of Mary. We all can minister to others for God’s love and mercy to move us but we can’t talk about it if we are not doing something for God’s glory.
The crown depicted on the mosaic above Mary’s head is a symbol attributed to Mary because she was the perfect follower of Christ; she journeyed on the pilgrimage of faith; and, she is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary won the “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8) the “crown of life,” (James 1:12) and the “crown of glory” (Peter 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ.
The “A” intertwined with the “M” symbolizes the Latin term “Auspice Maria” which means “Under the Protection of Mary.” Praying the Rosary is always under the protection of Mary and Jesus because Mary always leads us to her Son. We deepen our devotion to Jesus AND Mary by praying specifically, the Rosary.
A lot of people don’t realize the rosary is actually based on scripture. Each mystery has a name but you don’t have to memorize or know each name in order to pray the rosary. Each mystery depicts a specific event in the life of Christ. There is a virtue that correlates with each event. The virtue fosters meditation throughout the repetition of the “Hail Mary” prayers.
Did you know? Totus Tuus was the apostolic motto of Saint Pope John Paul II. The meaning is Latin for “Totally yours, O Mary.” It is a term for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary that came from the writings of this parish patron Saint Louis de Montfort, who said:
“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”
Let us embrace the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis by multiplying acts of mercy.
• Mercy is the bridge between God and man.
• Divine Mercy is the fact that God loves us. Nothing can change that. God’s mercy is greater than any sin and is always available to us.
Scripture does not record one word from Saint Joseph. Silence is poignant and powerful. Maybe you have a special devotion to the patron of the universal church and the man closest to Christ.
I am amazed at the great gifts God has bestowed on me through the intercession of Saint Joseph. Back in the day, my mom was adamant about attending college night. I thought I had more important things to do but went to appease my mom! We stopped at the St. Joseph’s College table and never looked back. They had me at “hello!”
My prayers and those of my parents were answered when God sent me the man of my dreams through the intercession of Saint Joseph. Nearly twenty four years later in the Sacramental vocation of Marriage, I know with certitude that God formed the textbook husband and father for our two most amazing children.
Today, I walked into daily Mass praising God for the humble model for all fathers. In gratitude, I adorned our alma mater Saint Joseph’s College, the place where our family roots began.
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Memorare to Saint Joseph:
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any who implored your help and sought your intercession were left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power, I fly unto you, and beg your protection. despise not, O foster-father of the Redeemer, my humble supplication but in your bounty hear and answer me. Amen.