I would like to share my experience yesterday celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at my church in Suffolk County, Long Island. We had a bi-lingual (English/Spanish) celebration of the Mass with the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Exposition. The whole celebration took 3 1/2 hours. The turnout was great-a full church, about 90% Latino of all ages. A bishop presided. It was one of the most moving spiritual experiences of my life.
As we sung the Divine Mercy Chaplet-half in English, half in Spanish-I began to feel a great unity.....first, with the wonderful devout Latino people present and gradually, I became aware of the entire world on this day raising a unified chorus to the Father...."For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!" I thought of the recent terror attacks and murders, some specifically against Christians. I thought of September 11th. I thought of the abortion holocaust. All the immorality. The whole ailing world raising this prayer to God together on one day. I felt Saint Faustina's presence with us-what an extraordinary accomplishment to secure this great and most necessary feast for the world.
During Exposition, many people crowded around the altar and knelt. I decided to join them. The whole church was praying with all their hearts, some shouting out, "Jesus, I trust in You! Jesus, I love You!" It reminded me of great paintings of the saints in Heaven, like the one above. I felt as if I were standing with all of them at the end of time, as Saint John describes:
"After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb." Apocalypse 7:9
Suddenly a young women who was kneeling in front me fainted. I have heard of such things, but have never actually seen it before. I know this is a point of controversy....I have no specific opinion because I do not know enough about these things-I do have a certain reserve in these matters, as most traditional-minded Catholics do. But I don't wish to get into any of that right now. I will say, her face, as she lay unconscious, looked utterly peaceful-it even seemed she had a slight smile. No one was concerned about her, except me (probably because they were familiar with this sort of thing). I went up to her, stroked her forehead and prayed for her. After a few minutes, she awoke, seemed dazed but peaceful, and carried on.
I thank the Most Holy Trinity for these blessings yesterday and also, I thank Saint Faustina for giving us the message of Our Lord's great mercy. It just goes to show you how important each and every life is. How important it is that we do the work God has uniquely given each one of us. Whether we reach a few, or millions....it matters. That is why we must always strive to be the best we can be...spiritually, mentally and physically...because someone....somewhere....is counting on us.
Image courtesy http://mute-the-silence.blogspot.com/2013/11/all-saints-day-in-greece-and-more.html