HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
"In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of his reverent submission." (Hebrews 5:7)
"Father, I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their word (...) Father, I desire that those also, whom You have given me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory." (John 17:20-24)
"I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:32)
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever" (John 14:16)
"Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." (John 11:22)
"Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34)
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
TO IMITATE JESUS
Our primary task in this life is to imitate Jesus, so we can become like Him. We should imitate Him in everything that He did when He was on earth and we should put in practice everything that He taught us. We should imitate the way He prayed, the way He loved, the way He treated and cared for people. When Jesus prayed for people He was always "moved with compassion." His intercessory prayer was an expression of the heart of God and it was motivated by love.
Are we doing a good job of imitating and representing Jesus? Are we coming before God the Father in prayer with a pure heart, free of sin and unforgiveness, to pray for the needs of our family, church, country, and the whole world? Are we coming against the enemy and praying for the salvation of all the people who do not know God's love yet?
DOES GOD NEED OUR PRAYERS?
Does God really need our prayers to fulfill His will on the earth? God doesn’t need our prayers, but He wants our prayers because He has chosen us to be partakers in His plan of salvation for the whole world. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us, "we must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus' life and His mysteries and often beg Him to perfect and realize them in us and in His whole Church. For it is the plan of the Son of God to make us and the whole Church partake in His mysteries and to extend them to and continue them in us and in His whole Church. This is His plan for fulfilling His mysteries in us. (CCC 521)
Jesus has chosen to do much of His work on earth through the Church and His children. Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us. Many of the blessings, salvation, and work that occur today would not have occurred if someone had not been obedient and prayed. At the same time, if God’s children are not willing to pray and intercede, then much of what God wants to accomplish in the world will not be accomplished.
ST. FAUSTINA, DIVINE MERCY & THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA
St. Faustina (1905–1938) was a Polish nun and mystic who had frequent encounters with Jesus and the Blessed Mother. God chose her to remind the world about His mercy and to prepare us for His second coming. Jesus announced through St. Faustina giving the whole world this special time of grace and mercy and taught us how to pray and intercede for those who die in the state of grave sin and are in danger of spending eternity without God, in hell.
"Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them." (Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary, 848)
"Before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy… before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…
(Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary, 1146)
In 1917, at the time when St. Faustina was still a young girl, Our Blessed Mother appeared to three little children in Fatima, a little village in Portugal. She told the children that God was very much offended and sad at all the sins committed by mankind. She warned about what would happen if people didn't convert and did not change their sinful ways. She also asked to pray Rosary every day to avoid the chastisement that was coming into the world.
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady said, "Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war. Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice: 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
She also showed the three children hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and taught them the prayer they should say after each mystery of the Rosary to save the souls of sinners from the fires of hell.
"When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy."
"Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them."
We must admit that we have not responded to the warnings and messages of Our Blessed Mother as we should have. People didn't repent and the second world war came to the world taking away the lives of many and destroying many countries and nations in unimaginable ways. However, thanks to Our Lady's intervention, over the course of the past century, chastisement has been avoided.
TWO FLAMING SWORDS
The three children of Fatima, as well as St. Faustina, witnessed two very similar visions involving the sword of God's justice and wrath.
In Fatima, the children saw an angel with a “flaming sword” about to strike the earth… but then our Blessed Mother appeared, and the light emanating from her (that is, her intercession) stopped the angel, who then cried out “Penance, penance, penance!”
Several years later, St. Faustina had a vision of Jesus appearing in a white garment holding a "terrible sword" in His hand during her order's renewal of vows.
"Then I saw a resplendence beyond compare and, in front of this brilliance, a white cloud in the shape of a scale. Then Jesus approached and put the sword on one side of the scale, and it fell heavily towards the ground until it was about to touch it. Just then, the sisters finished renewing their vows. Then I saw Angels who took something from each of the sisters and placed it in a golden vessel somewhat in the shape of a thurible. When they had collected it from all the sisters and placed the vessel on the other side of the scale, it immediately outweighed and raised up the side on which the sword had been laid. At that moment, a flame issued forth from the thurible, and it reached all the way to the brilliance. Then I heard a voice coming from the brilliance: Put the sword back in its place; the sacrifice is greater." (Diary of S. Faustina, 394)
So why should we be concerned now? The message of Divine Mercy and of Fatima is more urgent than ever because the world is in a much worse condition than it was a hundred years ago. It seems that we still live in the "time of mercy" but this time has an end. It is not indefinite and depends upon our response to God's calling. When we consider world events that develop one after the other with high intensity and gravity, it seems that we are on the verge of the great tribulations that Scripture and Our Lady have foretold.
Jesus once told St. Faustina: "I also withhold My punishments only because of you. You restrain Me, and I cannot vindicate the claims of My justice. You bind My hands with your love." Diary, 1193) What about now? Is the sacrifice of the chosen souls, like st. Faustina, still greater than the sins of mankind? There are certainly chosen souls out there on earth who out of love for God have agreed to suffer for the whole world. However, we can't only count on their help. As Christians, we have an obligation to take responsibility for the millions of souls who may perish without our prayers. As the workers in God the Father's vineyard, we are not to be just observers, we are to be active participants in God's plan for the salvation of humankind. As sons and daughters of the Most High, we have a role in holding back the tides of evil through our prayers, suffering, sacrifices, and witness, for the greater glory of our Heavenly Father.
FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS' SORROWFUL PASSION...
There is a great mystery around the love between God the Father and Jesus. God the Father created us out of love and for love. He gave us all to Jesus as His wonderful gift. We are Jesus' Bride, the apple in His eye. After our fall in the garden of Eden, we separated ourselves from God and we lost this great gift of living in close communion with Him.
To redeem us from this separation, God has shown us His love by sending His only Son, Jesus, into the world so that we could have life through Him. Jesus became a man and came to earth to save from our sins and to reconcile us with the Father. This great act of love until death, even to the death of the cross caused that God the Father cannot look at the earth except through the wounds and suffering of his beloved Son, Jesus.
In 1933, St.Faustina received a striking vision of how great God's Mercy is when He looks at humanity through the prism of His son's suffering.
"I saw a great radiance, in the midst of it, God the Father. Between this radiance and the earth I saw Jesus, nailed to the Cross and in such a way that when God wanted to look at the earth, He had to look through the wounds of Jesus. And I understood that it was for the sake of Jesus that God blesses the earth." (Diary of St. Faustina 60)
Jesus taught St.Faustina a very special prayer that portraits that love of God the Father. The prayer is called the Divine Mercy chaplet.
THE DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET
1935, St. Faustina received a vision of an Angel sent by God to chastise a certain city. She began to pray for mercy, but her prayers were powerless. Suddenly she saw the Holy Trinity and felt the power of Jesus' grace within her. At the same time, she found herself pleading with God for mercy with words she heard interiorly. As she continued praying the Angel became helpless and could not carry out the deserved punishment. The next day, as she was entering the chapel, she again heard this interior voice, instructing her how to recite the prayer that Our Lord later called "the Chaplet."
" I saw an Angel, the executor of divine wrath... about to strike the earth...I found myself pleading with God for the world with words heard interiorly. As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel's helplessness. He could not carry out the just punishment." (Diary of St. Faustina, 474)
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I desire that the whole world know My Infinite Mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy." (Diary 687)
"When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" (Diary, 1541).
GOD NEEDS OUR RESPONSE
Now is the time for us to act. This is the hour of decision for us to spread the Word of God, to pray, to ask for God's mercy, to intercede for others, and to make sacrifices.
We must take God's warning with utmost seriousness and immediacy. It is a message for our times directed to all people.
We need to turn our hearts toward Jesus, fix our eyes upon Him, join the hand of our Blessed Mother, and pray without ceasing. For in prayer, God unites us to Himself, clothes us in armor, and grants us all the graces we need to remain faithful participants in His Kingdom.
If you would like to be one of God's warriors, His Light, His Spark of the Flame of Love, praying for mercy and pleading with God for the world, please join us at BEATIMI.
The world needs you! We need you! God needs you!
DIVINE MERCY MESSAGE
Please listen to Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, Director of the Association
of Marian Helpers, as he explains the profound message of Divine Mercy.
Please watch a short video by David Carollo, Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima; www.Bluearmy.com