Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Divine Mercy

Today, for those of you who weren't paying attention to this sort of thing is Divine Mercy Sunday. I'll get into what Divine Mercy Sunday and the associated Divine Mercy prayers, etc. are in a later post. This is about how many things came into place for me as regards Divine Mercy.

Many of you guys will recall that my youngest boy has a mild-to-moderate autism. I firmly believe a large part of the reason why God allowed this to happen, was for me to strengthen and steel a prayer life that was quite lukewarm. Anyway, as we went through the various processes and diagnoses and treatments and therapies, I looked to my faith for a guiding light through these mazes. This involved plumbing depths that had previously gone unplumbed.

Anyway, Divine Mercy.

A lo-o-o-o-o-o-ong while back a friend of my wife's had given us a little booklet on the whole St. Faustina/Divine Mercy thing. I remember seeing it, and thinking "Hm! This is interesting. I should read this at some point." Of course, idiot that I am, I never got around to that.

Fast forward a year or so. It's coming time for my 40th birthday and a web-friend gave me a Rosary she'd made herself. I looked at it and thought "Sure is pretty." Idiot I still was, I didn't look at it again.

Anyway, one bright Sunday morning we go to Mass and it's Divine Mercy Sunday and there is a painting near the altar which is the "classic" portraiture--the visual symbolization, if you will--of Divine Mercy. Still deep in idiot mode, I think "God's Divine Mercy. Cool." Later that morning I go home and I turn on the TV and totally by accident, I flip to a documentary of the life of St. Faustina and her life, and faith and adversities and so forth, and how the Sunday after Easter Sunday came to be "Divine Mercy Sunday" and people's prayers and how their lives have been impacted thereby.

Finally, something (feeble as it was) clicked in my head. I ran to my drawer of catechism stuff and I see a thank-you note I received months previously from Sr. R.: Same image as the one on the altar earlier that morning. I find a thank-you something that our then-pastor had given catechists in our parish, it was a pocket Rosary, with the Divine Mercy theme. My mind slowly grinds ahead. I look at the Rosary I got for my birthday...the central medal features the Divine Mercy image. I run (well, OK, I walk fast) to my wife's car and pull out the booklet: Divine Mercy. I run across a little knick-knack someone had given my wife. Same Divine Mercy image.

So, lightning fast thinker I am, it dawns on me that perhaps all of these signs are God saying to me to PLEASE use this to pray.

At the time, my son (remember him?) has not responding to the whole therapy thing. With a faith seemingly cast in marble I say "Eh. Whatever. I'll try it." (Not fully shed my idiocy thus far. Slow on the uptake, I know.)

So I did.

And the next day, my wife gets a call from the teacher. Our son had a breakthrough. "Something has clicked in him," she said excitedly.



The immediacy of God actually responding to my explicit prayer for His mercy, well, stunned me. It SHOULDN'T have, but it did. I had never had this so present to me. With a whole universe to worry about, God had focused in on MY request. WOW.

So now I pray for His mercy in many (most? all?) aspects of my life. And whenever I start to slack, God gives me a reminder. Like, say, today (Divine Mercy Sunday, don't forget)...I was cleaning out a mess in my den, throwing away old catalogs, organizing magazines, etc. and sure enough, I found an old printout of Divine Mercy which a friend had given us, and I had almost immediately put away, over 3 years ago.

If you are so inclined, insert the Twilight Zone theme.