Divine Mercy enthusiast, George Lopez, speaks with The Record’s Debbie Warrier.
A recent change to the way I pray has been my devotion to the Chaplets of the Divine Mercy. I came across this devotion by accident. Along with some parish musicians, I once assisted a fellow parishioner with a presentation on the Chaplets. Prior to that, I had never heard of this devotion. I was touched by the way the mostly non-Catholic audience reacted. They were so moved that some had tears running down their faces.
We approached our parish priest for permission to start a prayer group devoted to the Chaplets. He attended the first meeting, found it very prayerful, and gave permission for us to continue.
Most of our members are of mature age. However, we have had teenage members. One of us is as young as ten. Our most junior member has taken the lead role in our devotion at times.
Although the devotion is normally recited, we sing it in our parish. Music is food for the soul. I find the sung version very moving. Each decade is interspersed with hymns and excerpts from St Faustina’s diary.
St Faustina, or Anna Kowalska as she was then known, was a poorly educated nun living in Poland in the early 20th century. She believed that God had spoken to her and directed her to write diaries containing His messages of mercy. These diaries are remarkable works considering her lack of education.
Interestingly, when Anna first claimed that God had spoken to her, she was not believed and was initially condemned by the Holy See. The future Pope John Paul II later supported her. As a result the devotion became widely used throughout the world. The Holy Father canonised her and declared the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
It is a very Eucharistic devotion. The Chaplets are said using rosary beads. Each decade begins with “Eternal Father, we offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
It is a beautiful devotion. We end with a very touching prayer of St Faustina’s. In her words we ask for God’s mercy. With His aid we confidently submit to His holy will in difficult moments.
Our devotion often begins with petitions for the sick and those experiencing difficulties. Some of our members have personally experienced the power of the Chaplets of the Divine Mercy. They cite examples of how the devotion has helped them or people they know through crises. These include the overcoming of life threatening situations when even doctors have given up hope. Belief in miracles is up to the individual. That is what faith is about.
Every 2nd Wednesday of each month a group of us comes to pray at St Thomas More Catholic Church, in Bateman. We begin at 7.30pm. All are welcome. At the completion of our devotion is Benediction. Those interested may contact me on 9310 9493 (home) or 9325 2010 (work).
After saying the Divine Mercy Chaplets I invariably feel at peace. I might not always feel like praying beforehand. However, the devotion always uplifts me. It is almost a floating sensation. The more one prays the more one’s faith develops.
St Faustina died at an early age but the Chaplets of the Divine Mercy will, hopefully, live on forever.
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Debbie via debwarrier @ hotmail . com