Friday, April 22, 2011

The Divine Mercy Novena begins today!

Today is Good Friday.  The only day of the year that Mass is not celebrated because today commemorates the passion and death of Christ.   Stations of the Cross and the Veneration of the Cross, together with a communion service, are the highlights.

Last night, Thomas and I attended Holy Thursday Mass.  Despite nearly 39 weeks pregnant with a toddler in tow, who is refining his 'terrible twos' tantrums each day, it ended up being a beautiful Mass.  Especially after we moved to the vacant cry room and left the lights off.  I lowered my expectations of a toddler past his bedtime and was grateful that we had this chance to be together, just him and me, before life changes pretty dramatically in the next few weeks.

One of my favorite moments was at the end of Mass, when Father Duc removed the Eucharist from the sanctuary.  The procession led directly past the cry room.  After reminding Thomas that Jesus was coming by (and wouldn't appreciate puckies being thrown in defiance), he climbed up to the window and held onto the ledge.  There wasn't anything but a simple "Wow, Mommy" that left his mouth as Father processed past with the Eucharist.  Thomas stayed up against the window until he couldn't see him anymore. 

This week has been particularly challenging with Thomas testing his boundaries.  My patience has been shorter than usual (chalk that up to the nearing due date) and we've both had moments where we just sat down in tears.  One of my favorite older gentlemen at daily Mass always reminds me, "It's just good that you bring him here. Don't worry about the rest. God will take care of that."  

Those moments during the procession remind me that it's all worth it as he begins to grasp the significance of what we believe.

And I know that I have definitely needed God's mercy during my most frustrated moments with my sweet two-year-old.

When I worked at Merrill Lynch, one of my favorite holidays was today, because the market always closes on Good Friday.  There aren't many American governmental offices that close to recognize truly religious feasts (besides Christmas), but this was one day in the United States in which our industry does just that.  I do miss that.

Today on Good Friday also marks the beginning of the nine-day novena that ends just before the Feast of Divine Mercy, one week after Easter.  The Feast of Divine Mercy was instituted by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000, for the second Sunday of Easter each year.

The devotion to the Divine Mercy is simple.  It's that God wants us to know that he loves us -- no matter how great our sins.  There's hope for everyone.  His mercy is greater than the worst that we've done, and He wants us to trust in Him.  I love this simple ABC to explain it:
  • AAsk for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
  • B Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
  • CCompletely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.
Each day of the novena focuses on a different group of souls. 

This year's novena is particularly close to the Skis' heart as the novena is also the countdown to the date of the Wee Ski 2.0's estimated arrival on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1.  It's been no secret that I've been especially praying for a safe and healthy delivery (especially after Thomas's not-so-smooth entrance into this world).  And with the novena, I'm praying especially to be able to truly trust in Him, especially with the birth of our next son. 

If you're praying the novena as well, I would really appreciate prayers for us as well.  ♥

Wishing you a blessed Good Friday.


Angie said...

praying for you and your family during this special time. Your patience and faith inspire me and your trust encourages me every day. Wishing you all a very special Easter from Wisconsin!

Unknown said...

Praying with a joyful heart for you and your sweet family as you prepare to welcome Wii Ski 2.0!
I can hardly wait for the adorable newborn pictures!

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