MISSION OF DIVINE MERCY
MISSION OF DIVINE MERCY
How can you help God? First, you can help by letting Him fill you with Himself, making of you a complete possession of His Love. Second, by trusting Him, and therefore obeying Him, He can make you a trustworthy “anchor” among family, friends and co-workers to which He can tie souls that are adrift. Third, He can make you a “beacon” of His light and truth, a living example of love for Him, that others can see. A beacon to help them to look to Heaven and to Him, to know Truth and so be less afraid during this unprecedented time, and always.
Even during this time in the tomb—perhaps particularly during this time— God constantly sends His love out to us like shafts of Light into the hearts of His children. How sad He must be when so few respond; so many refuse to recognize Him. This is why He needs you. He needs your help. You can help console the Heart of God.
God is God: all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing. No one can add anything to these attributes. But He is also LOVE, and LOVE “needs” to be poured out into someone. He needs, He is hungry for union with someone—and that someone is you. His love goes out to you to fill you, in order to bring you back and unite you to Him forever.
We know that we need God, but have you ever thought that God needs you? Yes, your God who loves you, “needs” you. He needs you as a Father whose heart needs the love of His children. He needs you as the King and General needs his soldiers. He needs you as the Master needs the help of His servants. He needs you as a spring of water needs a water course to fill. He “needs” you because He loves you. If God did not love you, He would not need you. And HOW MUCH He must need you, loving you as He does.
We know that God has infinite and great plans for His children, prepared from all eternity. We know that He will crush the head of the serpent and bring LIGHT to all His children. We are His children, but this is a time when our humanity might feel as if it is being stretched to its limits. Rest in His arms with your head against His chest. He is our Abba, our Father. Put your hand in His.
Trust that God has the life of your soul in His hands and in His Heart during this time and always. And the more we consciously surrender to His Will, the more we allow Him to act in us and through us— is for our good and our glory, and for the help of our brothers and sisters. Surrender to Him.
Are you beginning to feel restless and bored? Let your heart cry out to Him, and offer to Him your feelings of boredom and uselessness. Don’t worry. He will not be shocked or angry. He understands and loves us. He will use our feelings as part of the “cement” to make us trust Him more completely!
Each day let the knowledge of God’s love for you sink more deeply into your heart, so that His life in you may become even more fruitful. Let Him take you deeper and deeper into the Ocean of Trust that He wants from each of us. Let Him “cement” you, “ root” you in Him so that NOTHING can shake or separate you from Him. NOTHING can make you tremble.
During our time in the tomb, we might experience a double-darkness: obscurity for our mind, reason and logic; and obscurity for our hearts, feelings and desires. If this is the case then know that God is calling you to trust Him, believe Him, and obey Him in this complete darkness of Faith. This can be a time of great growth in Faith, a growth that will help you to help our brothers and sisters who are feeling even more lost. A time in darkness in order to bring about great Light!
For all of God’s storm-battered children. Trust that He understands what each of us is living now, and how each of us is suffering. He understands you. He loves you. During this difficult time He wants to form you in a truer living Faith. A more purified Faith that trusts Him beyond all human reason. Trust Him.
Messages from Fr. John Mary
Closing the Mission and the Mystery of the Tomb
On Thursday, we had to send out a quick notice, to inform those wanting to come to Mass on Saturday, of the decision we had to make to close the Mission temporarily. I want to better explain, especially for those most affected and saddened by this decision, why we decided that.
My first reaction when faced with this question was, "No. It is precisely in a time like this that the Mission should be available, and not just for Mass and Adoration, but so that people can come visit the grounds. So many have told us of the graces they feel just in coming here."
But we had to factor in the directives of the Archdiocese, and the civil authorities. And the uncertainty of the situation. And the health of all involved, both those who come to visit and those who live and work at the Mission. And there are the other effects on those exposed to or diagnosed with the coronavirus, including quarantine and isolation. We also had to take into account the liability dangers for the Mission, in our litigious society.
Taking everything into account in prayer, and following the directives, it seemed we should close the Mission.
This is a sacrifice for a number of you and for us. But we hope it will be brief. And this it will help preserve the Mission for you and yours, and many others, for the long haul. We strive to be good stewards of this Mission, which you and many others have helped develop. We don't want to put that in danger.
But beyond matters of health and legal repercussions, I believe that there is a deeper, mysterious action taking place.
As my earlier message (3/19/20) mentioned, I think to understand this situation we are living, we need to look to Holy Saturday and the Mystery of the Lord's Body being placed in the Tomb.
The closed doors of our churches, and the gates of the Mission, make us think of the stone that closed the Tomb. It is a type of death. For us Catholics and for our church.
In praying about the significance of these unprecedented actions, I think of an intriguing text from the Office of Readings taken from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday, which begins:
"Something strange is happening-there is a great silence on earth today a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth is trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and He has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear."
Then the reading speaks of God going to encounter Adam and Eve and taking them by the hand, saying: "Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light...I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead...The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity."
(This while reading is beautiful. I am including it in its entirety below for those who would like to read it.)
As Christ's Tomb prepared His Resurrection, so I sense that this trial, painful- but God willing-brief, will lead to special marvels of His Mercy for His suffering children.
We are like seeds buried in the earth: quietly, trustingly, patiently allowing God to work mysterious changes in us until the darkness of this moment will open into a Light from Heaven.
Sometime in the next few days we plan to begin putting up brief, daily words of encouragement for those who wish to read them. Words that we hope will help your faith grow during this time in the tomb. We will continue to send out the weekly Friday Meditation, but put these daily words on the website so that we do not bombard your email.
Please know that we are praying for you especially in this time when we can't welcome you here physically. Let us be united in prayer even more so when we can't gather together. With Mary let us pray:
Jesus, we trust in You.
Come, Holy Spirit!
From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday: The Lord's Descent Into the Underworld
Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: "My Lord be with you all." Christ answered him: "And with your spirit." He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: "Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I know by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not crate you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On the back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced my has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, it bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.
Dear Friends of MDM,
We are all living this challenging, confusing time of the coronavirus and its effects on our society, and the Church.
It seems especially significant that it is occurring during this time of Lent, as we prepare for the holiest time of the year: to follow our Lord in His Passion and Death to His Resurrection and Triumph.
The Catechism tells us that the Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, is also called to follow Jesus in His Passion and Crucifixion as part of her Paschal Mystery.
The sense that I had on Sunday while walking around our Mission, which was so strangely silent, was that it is as if the life of the Church has been placed in the tomb. The shut doors of our churches on Sunday being like the stone that sealed it.
BE NOT AFRAID
In this time of chaos, and uncertainty, we know by faith that all is in God’s Hands. Satan wants to hurt God’s children, in our bodies and especially in our souls. He wants to separate us from Our Father. But nothing escapes Our Father’s plans. He makes all things work to the good for those who love Him, as St. Paul writes (Ro 8:28), even the attacks of the evil one.
He tells us now, be not afraid.
I believe that the Church has been living a great crisis of faith for many years now, as evidenced by the terrible scandals that have wounded it, causing so many to leave the Church, having lost their Catholic faith.
Christ’s death and burial were devastating for His disciples. Yet, it was the preparation of something new, with the Lord Himself acting.
Right now we are in the tomb, awaiting His light. Unable to do so many things. Needing to wait.
The sense that comes to me is “reset.”
LIVING WITH FAITH AND HOPE
Our Lord is asking us to live this time in trust. In faith. In a waiting that is full of hope.
But we are not doing it alone. Heaven is with us, especially our Blessed Mother, who lived the great trial of Her Son’s death and burial, “hoping against hope.”
“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Lk 21:27-28
God’s grace is not limited by external circumstances. He continues to pour out this Grace whenever a heart turns to Him.
Read those last two sentences again and let them live in your heart.
LIVING THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL
I think God want to purify our faith during this trial.
He is making use of our inability to attend Mass physically to teach us to believe beyond sight, beyond feelings and actions.
During this time when many cannot attend Mass, what is most important is that we make an act of faith and unite ourselves in spirit and in truth to His Action in each Mass.
A soul in the state of Grace possesses God. And God takes all that that soul experiences, suffers and offers, and He unites it to His Son’s expiation and offering on the Cross. Thus each soul can participate in Mass spiritually, continually.
This is then a perpetual union and offering of everything to Him, that He may make sure of it for His great work of Redemption, of Reconquest.
We need to help each other trust and abandon ourselves to Him.
Let us live these days with Him, in the Mystery of His Will and Action.
He is in charge, despite all appearances.
And He will not abandon His children.
This is a time of waiting with Him in the tomb, waiting for the dawn.
Be at peace.
Perhaps we cannot gather as usual for Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum services this year. But we are living this Paschal Mystery as His will provides.
Let us offer to Him this time.
I am writing this on the Feast of St. Joseph. He experienced so many trials, such as having to suddenly flee with his family to Egypt, in great uncertainty and hardship. He trusted in the midst of obscurity. May St. Joseph help us with all the cares and concerns we have for ourselves and our loved ones in this time.
With Mary, our Mother, we say: Jesus, we trust in You.
Come, Lord Jesus.