Prayers we read are simply formatted words, but when we use our intellect and will to speak them forth to God they become much more. They become a language of beauty between father and child, friend to friend, lover to lover. Our God desires to be all of those things to us. So much so that as Jesus said in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Which brings me to the first availing prayer on the ORCatholic list – The Divine Mercy Chaplet. Honestly, the first thing I heard this morning was, “I want them to understand My mercy.” My words can’t describe God’s decision to pour out the many kinds of graces people need. Still, a nun named Maria Faustyna Kowalska, now known as Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska, who lived in Kraków, Poland, was given this prayer chaplet through her deep times of prayer and contemplation with Jesus. She was unaware of WWII’s horrible death camps coming to Kraków and other cities in eastern Europe and the massacre of six million Jews, the onslaught of millions of others in Europe and throughout the world.
The Our Father prayer was given to us with simplicity as children playing with lambs. The Divine Mercy prayer comes to us much later from the risen Christ Jesus who was crucified as a lamb led to slaughter on the altar.
In the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 22:1-19) God tells Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering on Mt. Moriah. Because of his faith in God, Abraham did as asked. It is a moving story to read. Just as Abraham is ready to slay Isaac, the Angel of God calls to him from the heavens and tells him to stop. ” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
No one in the early church could have guessed that it would be necessary to teach Christians once again why we receive God’s mercy, but I think it was part of His strategy all along. One of the many names for God is still “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” The basic lines of the Divine Mercy prayer are very brief and very powerful:
I offer You the body and blood, soul and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
In atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Folks who know me or have come across ORCatholic.com know I have been encouraging joining thousands of Americans in Giving Him 15 daily as we pray for the 2020 elections and the soul of our nation. Founder Dutch Sheets said early on that he believes God wants to show Americans His mercy. As a once reluctant Catholic with an understanding of the Divine Mercy prayers, his words agree with what I already sense in my spirit. So I said the simple words of the Eternal Father and Sorrowful Passion and made them personal to our nation:
.. In atonement for We the People of the Untied States of America and the whole world.
.. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, We the People of the United States of America, and the whole world.
The first time I prayed this way, it was a brief prayer, but I knew there needed to be more. There needed to be a time set apart, determined, to carry through the Divine Mercy’s complete chaplet. A heart to heart time before God, where I truly considered how America fails to strive to be a Christian nation. I needed to truly consider what the words mean when we offer God the body and blood of His Son and recognize His soul and divinity all over again. It is no small thing to pray the Divine Mercy prayers before our Holy God. Yet His presence comes and opens avenues for us to find a deeper understanding of His great grace time after time.
May God bless you always,
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