Divine Mercy Sunday is April 19th this year. It is the Sunday after Easter when the Church celebrates the incredible gift of the Divine Mercy of God for our souls as revealed by Jesus to St Faustina. To understand Divine Mercy Sunday let’s read this passage from St. Faustina’s Diary in which Jesus tells her:
“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depth of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sin and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be scarlet.” (699)
Jesus promises that by receiving Holy Communion and going to Confession on this day the soul will be filled with special graces and will be completely clean, as it is after baptism. Free not only from sin but also from the punishment of sin. Divine Mercy Sunday is effectively a renewal of baptismal grace. You have the opportunity to begin your life with God again. What a blessing!
So where does that leave us this year? Since on Divine Mercy Sunday we won’t have public masses? There is great news! You can still receive this special grace tomorrow if you do three things:
1. Make an Act of Contrition after doing an Examination of Conscience
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”
Oh My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, With your help, To do penance, To sin no more, And to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
You will then be forgiven of all you sins, even mortal sin, if you are resolved to avail yourself of the Sacrament of Confession as soon as possible (you can make an appointment with a priest for this coming week).
2. Make an Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Also pray this prayer with the intention of returning to the Sacrament as soon as possible.
3. Pray this prayer or something similar
Lord Jesus Christ, You promised St Faustina that the soul that has been to Confession (I’m unable but I made an Act of Contrition) and receives Holy Communion (I’m unable but I made an Act of Spiritual Communion) will receive the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment. Please Lord Jesus, give me this grace.
This extraordinary promise of Divine Mercy Sunday is for everyone! Share this with your non-Catholic friends too. Everyone can ask Jesus for forgiveness from sin and make an Act of Spiritual Communion. Everyone can desire a new beginning and decide to start again. As long as we have a desire for this grace AND an intention to amend our lives, we can be completely cleansed with grace similar to our baptism. This is a fantastic was to reboot your spiritual life! This Easter season, while we are at home and have more quiet lives, is the perfect time to assess where you are in your spiritual journey and make a plan to move closer to God in our hearts. Let’s begin this process with Divine Mercy Sunday and let God’s mercy pour into our hearts and souls and then with hearts and minds renewed we can live intentionally and with a purpose for God!