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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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What do I do if I feel Jesus pulling me to the Catholic Church?

My family and friends are telling me I’m doing something wrong.  My family is angry with me or concerned for my salvation if I become Catholic.  I’m not ready to convert to Catholicism but am interested in what it means. What do I do?

If you feel Jesus drawing you to the Catholic Church, the first thing you do is…let Him.  Let Him guide you down your faith path.  All of our paths are different.   If He is drawing you to the Catholic Church, then maybe begin with learning all you can about it.  Make sure you have an open mind to understand His teachings through His church and be sure you get all of the facts from a Catholic source, not misunderstandings from others.

As for your family and friends, reassure them that you are on a good path and that you are finding more to your faith, not less.  Tell them about the truths you find.  This can be hard for family and friends to understand so be patient with them.  Some may fall away permanently, some may just be angry for a time, but keep your eye on Jesus.  Some may see what you are finding and they may want it too.

If you want to learn more, go to any local Catholic Church and ask about RCIA classes.  These are classes that will teach you about the different aspects of the faith.  RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  They are classes that help your understanding about the church.  It helps to get rid of any misunderstandings or myths you may have received from others.  You are not obligated to become Catholic if you take the classes.  If you do choose to become Catholic, then you would most likely come into full communion with the church on Easter receiving all of the sacraments you are in need of, especially Baptism (if needed), Confirmation, First Eucharist, and First Reconciliation.  When this happens, you come into a huge family not only here on earth but also in Heaven.   Classes usually start in the fall so if you are interested, check it out as soon as possible to that you don’t miss much.  Just remember that you are doing so much more in your faith by becoming Catholic; you are coming Home to the fullness of the Faith.

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What is a chaplet?

A chaplet is a devotional prayer that is said while the person keeps track of the progress of the prayer on beads.  The most commonly known is the rosary but others are said to Jesus or saints.  The Divine Mercy Chaplet is becoming more commonly known and said to Jesus.  Some are a loop of beads, while others are a string of beads.  They vary widely.  This practice goes back many centuries when monks would use knots in cords to say the psalms.

The rosary is a meditation on the life of Jesus and The Blessed Virgin Mary continually points us to her Son throughout the meditation.  But you might say, well yea but then explain why do we say so many Hail Mary’s in it?  Because we are asking for the Virgin Mary’s direction and intercession.  She’s helping us along the path to find who the true Jesus is.  She shows us how beautifully He came to us, His life, His suffering (Passion), and His Resurrection.  It is never about the Virgin Mary, it is always about learning about and loving Jesus.  Click to find the Fifteen Promises of the Rosary from Our Lady.

There is a chaplet for:

  • St. Michael
  • Divine Mercy
  • The Blessed Sacrament
  • St. Patrick
  • The Infant Jesus of Prague
  • St. Teresa the Little Flower
  • The Holy Spirit
  • and so many more.

You can find these chaplets at a local Catholic religious store or online.  You could find a saint that you identify with or want to form a relationship with and then find their chaplet and keep that devotion.  This by no means takes you from Jesus though.  They are our family in Heaven and they all point to and teach us about Jesus.  This helps us to have a deeper appreciation and love for Jesus.

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What is the only unforgivable sin?

Many of us don’t think we sin.  What is a sin anyway?  What is the one unforgiveable sin?  I thought Jesus forgave all sins?  My parents or grandparents think I sin but I just think they are old fashioned.  They need to come up with the times right?  I just want to be free to follow my own rules.

Sin is when we are going in the opposite direction from God.  If we are not going toward God, then we are going away from God.  Sin is our choice to separate ourselves from God.  He gave us free will and respects our choice, even if we choose to leave and separate from Him.  The people who are in Hell are all volunteers.  They chose it.  God does not send people to Hell, they go willingly because they don’t want God.  He respects our choice to reject Him because He loves us.  This sounds backwards but He doesn’t want to force us to love Him.  He wants our total self-giving of ourselves to Him.  He doesn’t just want a little or want us to draw a line in the sand and say I will only give THIS much.  He wants all of us.

Sin can be big or small.  The small sins are called venial sins.  They aren’t as serious but if you have enough of them that can be serious.  These are smaller imperfections in us that cause problems.  Big sins are called mortal sins.  They ARE VERY SERIOUS!  These are like breaking the Ten Commandments or harming someone in a serious manner with ill intent.  These are sins like lying, stealing, killing, fornication (sex out of marriage), adultery, and not honoring God.  Think of the venial sins as paint spatter on your soul and think of the moral sins as big black ink stains on your gleaming white soul.

Our parents and grandparents most of the time can see our wrongdoings better than we can see ourselves.  They only have our best interest at heart.  Their biggest fear is for you to lose your soul and salvation.  Wouldn’t that be horrible if they went to heaven and you didn’t?  Think of the deep sorrow they would have for you.  They want to share the love of Heaven with you.  They are responsible to God for the salvation of your soul and they have to answer to God for the wrong choices you make.

Following your own rules sounds nice but if everyone followed their own rules, society would be chaos because who determines which rules we follow?  One person might think well stealing isn’t a big deal but the person he steals from might miss their car pretty bad.  We need to follow rules that are uniform to have a structured society.  We have to follow the laws or we have consequences.  We can’t speed or we would get a ticket or have an accident.

Jesus came to give us a second chance as mankind.  Yet we still refuse His mercy.  He died for our salvation, yet we still refuse Him and the only Church He founded.  We refuse to ask for forgiveness.  We commit sins and refuse to admit that we are sinning.  How horrible we treat Him.  We commit the sin of pride by thinking we are beyond sinning and don’t need forgiveness, or worse yet, we think the sin we committed is too grievous that we don’t deserve forgiveness.  This is the ONE UNFORGIVEABLE SIN, either thinking we don’t sin, not asking for forgiveness, or thinking its too bad that we don’t deserve it.  This is actually us rejecting God’s mercy and the mercy of the Holy Spirit.  If you think of Judas who turned Jesus over to be crucified, he realized that what he had done was wrong.  He tried to return the money he received but it didn’t clear his conscience.  He thought what he had done was unforgivable and killed himself.  How sad it is, that all he had to do was go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness.  What a story in the Bible that would have been huh?

Close your eyes for a moment, imagine that Jesus is tied to the pillar and the soldiers are scourging Him.  What a horrible sight, a painful sight to behold.  Now imagine that every time you sin, YOU are the one scourging Him.  This may sound like something hard to hear or you may say that sounds stupid; I mean after all we certainly wouldn’t do that.  But every time we sin and put ourselves first instead of God, that’s exactly what we are doing.  Think about it.  When we curse and use God’s name in vain or the “OMG” slang we are dishonoring God.  We need to think about our actions and understand that whatever we do to others, we have done to Jesus.

Yes we are human and not perfect by any means, but I have a remedy for you for all of this.  God doesn’t want to condemn us, He wants to offer and freely give His forgiveness and mercy for us to come back to Him.  We need to ditch the pride and come back humble and repentant to Him.  If you are Catholic and haven’t been to confession for awhile, go now and receive buckets of grace from Jesus!  If you are not Catholic, repent and come back to God, ask forgiveness.  Trust in Jesus that He will lead you to His mercy.  Everyone thinks that Jesus came to preach love but I am telling you that He really came to preach MERCY AND FORGIVENESS FOR ALL OF US, WE JUST NEED TO LEARN TO ASK FOR IT.

For more information please go to the link below.  It will bring you to a website PDF file of the Diary of St. Faustina.  This is an amazing story of Jesus coming to a nun and asking for people to come to His Divine Mercy.  This is a true story and is all documented in her diary and approved by the Catholic Church.  Please step into His mercy.  Jesus I trust in You.

http://www.boziemilosrdenstvo.sk/download/diary.pdf

 

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Don’t all churches have the Eucharist?

Don’t all churches have the Eucharist? Other churches claim to have the real presence too.  I don’t understand.

Why can’t you find the Eucharist in any other church?  There’s a key component that the Catholic Church has that no other church has and without this you can’t have the Eucharist.  The key component is a valid PRIEST!  Jesus instituted the priesthood on Holy Thursday at the Last Supper.  He commanded them to do as He did.  “Take this all of you and eat of this for this is my Body.”  These may seem like just words but He gave the apostles the authority to, through Jesus, to hold the bread and wine and ask for the Holy Spirit to come down and change them into the Body and Blood of Jesus.  This is called consecration.  The authority of the Holy Orders of Priesthood came down from Jesus to Peter to the other apostles and other popes and bishops from there.  This is an unbroken line from Jesus directly to Pope Francis and the current priests and bishops today.  If someone breaks from the Catholic Church and makes their own church or ordinations, then they are NOT validly ordained through Jesus and therefore would not be able to be in communion with the Holy Spirit to turn the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Jesus.

One question to ask is what do other churches do with the left over communion bread and wine?  Some put the wine or grape juice back in the bottle, Some throw the bread away in the garbage, some put the wafers back in the bag they came in, some make homemade bread and bring the leftovers home and cook with it, some pour it down the sewer to be mingled with sewage.  If it is the Eucharist and Body of Jesus, then why is it treated in such a way when they are done?  Some claim that Jesus “jumps” out of the bread and is just blessed bread then giving a reason it can be thrown away.  It is treated as a symbol.

In the Catholic Church, the wine is never put back in the bottle.  It is all consumed in each Mass.  The vessels are washed and the cleaning water is dumped down a sink that goes directly into the earth, not the sewer.   The left over Eucharist is put in a tabernacle (box of reverence for the Eucharist to be kept safe) and treated with deep reverence.  It is also put out on the altar for worship and adoration.  The Eucharist does not depend on the faith of the one consuming it.  It IS REALLY JESUS AND STAYS THAT WAY. There’s a big difference!

What do the other churches have then if not a valid Eucharist?  If they don’t have a valid priest to do consecration then they have a layman to BLESS the bread.  This would be the same as asking Jesus to bless our meals, which is good but still not consecrated into the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus.

This is why you can only find the Eucharist in the Catholic Church because Jesus designed it that way and us as humans have no authority in that.

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Fullness of the Faith

If you are not Catholic, you can receive grace by reading scripture, Baptism and praying.

But by becoming Catholic, you would be receiving the fullness of the faith, receiving also the grace of Baptism (if needed), Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.  Catholicism is the fullness of the faith.  You need sanctifying grace for salvation.  Sanctifying grace is when you have no mortal (major) sin within you.

Think of it like this: Which would you rather have?

  • A dinner from the convenience store or from a restaurant with all the fixings?
  • A peanut butter sandwich or Thanksgiving Dinner?
  • A castle with only the king in his chamber or a castle with the king, queen, all their family and beautiful hall with tapestries and gold to celebrate the feast of our king?

I’m sure you get the point.  The Catholic Church has all the fixings.  Other churches are wonderful and have some truths within them however; the Catholic Church has ALL of the truth.  Not putting the other churches down because they do have some truths but wouldn’t you want everything?

There is nothing missing in the Catholic Church.  It has the fullness that Jesus created within His church.  You would be receiving the fullness of the faith directly from Jesus, Himself.  Why would you want anything else?

Some people go church shopping, looking for a good pastor to preach or for that hugging warm fuzzy feeling, but there is something soooo much more to it.  What about Jesus, Himself in the flesh?  The Eucharist IS Jesus.  You can’t find that in any other church!  You can take Jesus into your heart and have a closeness and intimacy with Him that you can’t find anywhere else.  This is what He meant it to be.  He longs to be in you literally, not symbolically.

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Statues? What’s up with all the statues?

Why do Catholics worship statues?  Do Catholics commit idolatry?  Are they even Christian?

Yes, Catholics are very much Christian and everything is based on what Jesus taught us.  Catholics have Bible verses in every Mass (service).

I remember a story about what the Catholic Church may look like from the outside.  If you stand outside of the church, you can see the stain glass windows but they are dark and unappealing.  The building just looks like any other building and not very exciting or even a little weird to people outside.  But if you look at it from the inside, the stain glass windows are so vibrant, beautiful and they tell a story.  Lights illuminate the ornate painted gold scrollwork on the walls and the beauty within.  Once you get to know what the Catholic Church is all about, you see the beauty within.

Statues in the Catholic Church are reminders for us, like people would have pictures of their family in their wallet.  If we didn’t have pictures of our great grandparents, we wouldn’t know what they looked like, right?  We honor the Virgin Mary (I will write more about that later) and the saints but only ask for them to pray FOR us, like we ask our family and friends to pray for us.  Idolatry would be if we thought that the statue itself would be able to do what we ask, but the statues only remind us of Jesus or the saints and we only worship God and Jesus.

We also have crucifixes of Jesus on the cross to remind us of His sacrifice for us.  We are not crucifying him again.  Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are all one thing, not separate.  You can’t have one without the other. People have asked me why we want weddings in the church instead of on the beach.  The answer is, so that we have a crucifix to look at and remind us of the sacrifice that we are called to do within our marriage which is a covenant (promise) between the couple and God, instead of a contract of only the couple.

Although it may LOOK like we worship the statues, we are really using the statue to remind us of the person and asking for the person to PRAY FOR US and WITH US to God.  If you think about it, if you wanted something you would go to your mom and ask for her to ask dad for you right? Why?  Because you know that he wouldn’t refuse her on your behalf.  It’s the same with the Virgin Mary and Jesus and God.  The Virgin Mary goes to her Son and asks Him for and with us for our request and Jesus will always listen to His Mother.  The saints do the same thing.  They are our huge family in Heaven and they are on our side and willing to assist us to reach heaven.

Jesus gave His mother to us when He was on the cross dying.

26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loves, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.  John 19:26-27

Jesus not only gave the Virgin Mary, his mother, to John to care for but He also gave her to us as our Mother.  She is our Blessed Mother in Heaven and we need to honor her as Jesus would.