Good morning and a Blessed Easter Saturday to you! We don’t know about you, but we have been using the word “alleluia” pretty liberally this week and it feels so good!
Not only are we basking in the glory of Jesus’ triumph over death and the grave, but we are also deep into the Divine Mercy novena- a devotion that brings us right into the Merciful and Compassionate Heart of Jesus. This time of year is the best!
Since tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday, we drew most of our inspiration for this morning’s Cause of Our Joy from Divine Mercy.
But before we get too far, we are excited to reveal something we have been working on! Since Cause of Our Joy has been so fun for us and so well-received by you, we thought it would be neat to offer you a way to enjoy your coffee with us too! For a $25 donation, we’ll send you an exclusive Cause of Our Joy mug! Your donation will help us bring a statue of St. Juan Diego to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Memorial Garden and it also helps us keep this email ministry going. Besides, we think the mug is pretty cool too! To get your mug, click here.
Okay, now it’s time to get to business– so, without further ado, let’s get into this!
Prayers for Sri Lanka
On Easter Sunday, more than 350 people were killed and over 500 people were injured, as multiple suicide bombs went off at two Catholic Churches, a Protestant church, three hotels and several other locations in Sri Lanka. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, many of which took place during Mass where families gathered to celebrate Easter and First Holy Communion. Here is an article telling a little about 10 of the innocent victims who lost their lives. My Jesus, mercy.
Divine Mercy Basics
St. John Paul II made the message of Divine Mercy a key component of his entire papacy, and his establishment of the Feast of Divine Mercy and canonization of Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska has earned him the unofficial title of “Mercy Pope.” If you are unfamiliar with the devotion, this article gives a simple summary.
If you have the basics of Divine Mercy down but are interested in learning more, we HIGHLY recommend checking out The Marians of the Immaculate Conception’s website (it’s Fr. Michael Gaitley and Fr. Don Calloway’s order). The website has lots of wonderful information!
Jimmy Akin is famous for his “9 Things You Need to Know” series for the National Catholic Register. He’s got a “9 Things” for Divine Mercy too, and we think it’s pretty great!
One of the most interesting and controversial things to come from Jesus’ words to St. Faustina, is that He tells her that this devotion is a sign of His final coming and a signal of the end times. Many folks find this particular part of Jesus’ revelation to be frightening. We found a couple articles that deal with it and found them helpful.
Divine Mercy Sunday
Jesus specifically asked that Divine Mercy Sunday be celebrated on the Sunday following Easter. In 2000, Pope St. John Paul II declared Divine Mercy Sunday an official solemnity. He said it was the happiest day of his life! (Interesting fact: this holy pontiff died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.) If you are wondering how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday tomorrow, check out this link and also look in your parish bulletin—many churches have events to commemorate it!
A Little Something for the Kids
For some easy ways to teach little ones about Divine Mercy, CatholicIcing.com has some really great ideas for crafts, desserts and activities. Lori’s kids are really looking forward to making the Divine Mercy Sundaes.
We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! Easter isn’t just a one-day celebration—we celebrate the Easter season for 50 days! Author Kate Warner has 7 ways to celebrate Easter after Easter Sunday.
Saint Catherine of Siena, who was a mystic and is a Doctor of the Church, has a feast day on April 29, this coming Monday. Her story is incredible; you can learn more about her here. Did you know she is considered the patroness against fire and the patroness of illness, the United States, Italy, miscarriages, people ridiculed for their faith, sexual temptation, and nurses? What a list!
Along with Jesus, The Blessed Mother also spoke to St. Faustina. She is the Mother of Mercy and she always takes us to Jesus, Divine Mercy Himself. Fr. Don Calloway has a great article about this and the National Catholic Register’s article, The Hidden Connection Between Mary and Divine Mercy, is pretty great too!
Sunday Gospel Reflection
If you want to read ahead for tomorrow’s Mass, the readings for this Sunday can be found here. The St. Paul Center (Scott Hahn’s organization) has a quick audio reflection on Sunday’s readings.
This reflection from Dcn. Keith Fournier makes the connection between the doubting Thomas from St. John’s Gospel and Divine Mercy: “Jesus turned Thomas´s doubt into an event of Mercy for generations to come. Out of the repentance born from seeing Mercy Incarnate, touching the wounds of His Divine love, came those wonderful words that have formed the most profound of personal prayers for millennia,’My Lord and My God.’”
In His Mercy,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
P.S. On Saturday, May 4, the Marian Center is holding a class on how to plant a Mary Garden! We found this lovely piece on how Mary Gardens are not only beautiful, but they can aid in your prayer life! If you are interested in attending the class, check out our website for more details or give us a call.
P.P.S. And join us for “Paint a Saint” – learn how to paint peg dolls to make great gifts of faith for children and grandchildren. That’s Saturday, May 25 from 6-8 pm. There’s a $10 cost for supplies.