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What is Divine Mercy?

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness.  Jesus came to Sister Faustina in Poland in the 1920’s and 30’s asking her to write down His words for the world.  He asks for everyone to come to Him and ask forgiveness and if possible come to Reconciliation.  He wants us to repent and come back to Him.  She became His “Secretary”, keeping journals of His visits to her and His words during that time.  The picture below is the picture of Divine Mercy.  The rays from Jesus’ heart represent Blood and Water.  The white rays represent Baptism and Reconciliation.  The red rays represent the Eucharist and the Blood He shed for us. St. Faustina was canonized as a saint in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

The Sunday after Easter is the Divine Mercy Sunday.   “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.  On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow.  Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”  (Jesus’ words in the Diary 699)  We get our sins forgiven in Confession but we don’t stop to think about the punishment for our sins.  If one of our children smashes a window, we can forgive them but they still will be grounded for doing it and may have to work to pay for the damage.  They need to learn from their mistakes.  God deals with us the same way, as a Father would.  It doesn’t mean we would go to hell but we may spend time in Purgatory for it.  If we go to Divine Mercy Sunday and do what’s required, we not only have that sin forgiven but the punishment will be gone too.

Jesus gave us the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  This is a devotional prayer said on beads like the rosary but it’s said to Jesus.  This prayer helps us to accept His mercy and to be perfected in it.  The best time to say it is 3:00 pm because that’s the time Jesus died.

Check out the two links on the Links page for Divine Mercy and the Diary of St. Faustina.

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Jesus, I trust in you.

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Judgment after death or end of world?

(Note: CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church and includes a paragraph reference number)

Do we get judged after our death or at the end of the world?  Actually, both.  There are two different kinds of judgment; Particular Judgment and General Judgment.  There are three possible results of that judgment: Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell.  Purgatory is a temporary place for us to get purified before we enter Heaven.

Particular Judgment happens immediately after our death.  This happened to the good thief and was taken to paradise that day, so he is not waiting until the end of the world to be judged.

“Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.  He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:39-43

The General Judgment will be at the end of time, when Jesus comes the second time.  The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust.” (Acts 24:15) will precede the Last Judgment.  Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him….Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left….And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:31,32,46  (CCC 1038)

(Heaven) “Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ….By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints….and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism….already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment–and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven–have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels.  Since the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.”  (CCC1023)  So those who are baptized in Christ, since Jesus’ death, people can go to heaven if they are not in mortal sin and if they need purification, then they spend time in Purgatory first.

(Purgatory)  All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (CCC 1030)  But nothing unclean will enter it (heaven).  Rev 21:27  Purgatory is temporary and the person is guaranteed to enter Heaven after purification.

(Hell)  We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love Him.  (CCC 1033)  The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.  Immediately after death the souls of those that die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”  The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. (CCC1035)  God predestines no one to hell; for this, willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end….the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”  (CCC1037)  “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9

There is hope for us all.  “For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin. In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.”  (CCC1470) We must accept God’s grace of conversion.  If not, “then will the culpable (those guilty of) unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.  By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the (Holy) Spirit of love”.  (CCC678-679)  Our hope is in accepting God’s grace, conversion and penance.

 

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How to spring your loved one from Purgatory

First off, Purgatory is the place where a soul goes to get purified after death but before going to Heaven.  You cannot go to hell from Purgatory.  Once you are in Purgatory, you are guaranteed to go to Heaven but you must be purified of any smaller sins and you must make retribution for your sins you committed during life.  Kind of like, if you were a child and broke a window with your baseball.  You would apologize for what you did but you would still have to clean up the broken glass and pay for the window to be repaired (you might be grounded too.)  This is Purgatory.  Check out these scripture readings: 2 Maccabees 12 (only in a Catholic Bible), and 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15

If you would like to “spring” your loved one from Purgatory, from Nov 1-8 of any year, you can go to any cemetery (doesn’t have to be the cemetery they are located in) and pray some prayers for your loved one, then ask for the Plenary Indulgence to go to your loved one, releasing them from Purgatory.  Also say in prayer, “If my loved one doesn’t need the indulgence, please give it to a soul who needs it the most”.  This is such a beautiful way to show our love to our loved ones.  Remembering them is great but to help them to see God is the ultimate gift to give them.

After this, you can ask for your loved one to pray for YOU too.  I recently did this for my Godfather.  It was so beautiful to think that I could help him to see the Glory of God when he spent his life helping me to learn about God.  Funny how things come around.  Today I will be going to a cemetery and praying for a homeless man that I knew, who was killed by a vehicle.  Shortly before he was killed, he asked me to pray for him.  I took this seriously and have been praying for him ever since. He was so repentant before he died.   I pray that God looks with mercy on him.