The Year of Mercy ended last Sunday with Pope Francis’ closing of the Holy Doors in Rome. (Obviously, this post is late. 😉 ) However, mercy is not limited to a single “year.” God’s Mercy is available to everyone who desires it and is easily found in the “tribunal of mercy,” also known as the Sacrament of Penance (or “Confession” or “Reconciliation.”)
Advent begins today. Embracing the Sacrament of Penance by going to Confession during the season of Advent is an excellent way to prepare for the coming of the Lord. For that is what Advent is about, preparation for the arrival of Jesus’ first coming and if you have been praying the Divine Office these past few weeks in November, you are aware that the Church hasn’t waited for Advent; many of the readings in the Church’s “official prayer book” have been referring to the Lord’s Second Coming as well. It is not enough that we need to commemorate His first arrival in a stable in Bethlehem, we have to also be made aware that there is a promise of a Second Coming. The Church in Her infinite wisdom and love is shepherding us along the path towards the narrow gate that Jesus spoke of.
Matthew 7: 13-14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leads to perdition, and many there are who enter through it. How narrow is the gate, and how straight is the way, which leads to life, and few there are who find it!
Why? Because His Second Coming won’t be like the first; He will come as a Just Judge, bringing to completion human history. We will be judged according to our faith and deeds and especially how merciful we ourselves have been to others.
To pass through that narrow gate, we need to repent and claim the Mercy of God.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ appeared in mystical visions to the young Polish nun Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska back in the 1930’s. I’ve blogged about the “Divine Mercy” devotions before SEE Divine Mercy Post Archive. In her Diary in which she described the visions, she records several statements made by Him on Mercy. Read a few of them and be inspired to seek a priest and have your sacramental confession heard (the numbers refer to paragraphs in her Diary):
723: The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool.
687: (Concerning the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.
1567: Make known to souls the great mercy that I have for them and to exhort them to trust in the bottomless depths of My mercy.
So, think about “where you’re at” in your recovery and also in your relationship with the Lord. Avail yourself of His Mercy. Many parishes have special days and times set aside for Penance in addition to the regularly scheduled times. If you haven’t been to Confession in many years, perhaps call the priest to make an appointment. He can possibly suggest a good examination of concience to help you get started, or just while you’re there guide you along the way.
How to pray The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
How to get the Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul: the Diary of St. Maria Faustina KowalskaKnow someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"