God loves every soul out there....and it is up to us to vouch for souls who cannot vouch for themselves. With that said, please consider praying this Novena with me. You pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for nine days, starting on Good Friday and ending on Divine Mercy Sunday. You can find the details here, but essentially you fulfill a few conditions along with prayer of this Novena (confession, Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday, praying for the pope's intentions, etc) to attain plenary indulgence as well as many other graces. In previous years, I have kept particular souls in mind as I have met the different conditions of this Novena with the intention that any graces I could receive, are instead given to these souls. I believe that God is merciful beyond my understanding and, as such, believe that prayer and suffering on behalf of other souls is a powerful help for these souls.
The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday and, according to the diaries of St. Faustina Kowalska, "by this Novena [Christ] will grant every possible grace for souls." I know I am one of those souls in dire need of Christ's mercy because I am nowhere near perfect and I cannot rely on myself to change this. I must rely on God and, in order to do so, I must trust in His mercy. The promise of grace through this Novena is a powerful thing. I think of it as that hand that Christ extended to St. Peter when he started to flounder in the water. He had faith and this faith is what led him to attempt to walk on water with Christ. Yet, it was his doubt and his fears that caused him to sink even in the presence of Christ. We may not think of our own faithful life as being similar to those great apostles from the New Testament...but it is very similar. We face temptations, we find strength in Christ, and we rely on his friendship (grace)...as St. Peter relied on Christ's friendship (grace).
The souls we are asked to pray for on the first day of the novena are the souls of all of mankind...especially sinners. Let us pray that all of these souls are brought to Christ that his mercy and compassion wash over them.
|Marc Chagall's White Crucifixion (1938)|
A favorite of Pope Francis
"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
(For previous reflections for the first day of this Novena, click here.)