Category: Catholic Articles

‘Jesus I Trust In You’! How The Divine Mercy Prayer Can Transform Lives

‘Jesus I Trust In You’! How The Divine Mercy Prayer Can Transform Lives

 

Putting ‘Jesus, I Trust in You’ Into Practice.

How the Divine Mercy Prayer can transform hearts and lives.

The Rojas family were forced to evacuate their Robstown, Texas Home Last August, after the terrifying Hurricane Harvey burnt down their house. 

Reaching shelter after a three-hour drive, Jesse and Jennifer and their children watched helplessly as someone on Facebook livestreamed the Rojas home as it, along with Jesse’s mother’s and sister’s houses, was burning.

“All three burned down completely during the night of the hurricane,” Jesse said. “We prayed right away. My wife’s favorite prayer is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We said a Divine Mercy Chaplet on our way being evacuated, and we were praying the Rosary, too. They were signs to us that we weren’t alone.”

Despite losing everything, the family’s faith remains unshaken in the midst of their suffering because of their continuing prayer, “Jesus, I trust in you” — what Jesus told St. Faustina was his “signature” when he gave her the Image Of Divine Mercy (St. Faustina’s Diary, 327). The Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday on the Second Sunday of Easter. The Rojas family attest that they are indeed blessed: None of the family was lost.

Jesse Rojas said that before the hurricane nobody knew the Divine Mercy Chaplet was his wife’s favorite prayer, yet, surprisingly, a family called them from out of state wanting to make a donation. “They were calling from the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.”

Other good has come from the turmoil, too. Before the storm, his business was really slow. Now, Jesse has steady work lined up for satellite communication services and installation. Then came another assurance. When he returned to a house to pick up a drill he had forgotten, the customer handed him a gift — a bottle of holy water and a Bible whose cover was embossed, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

The Mother of Mercy also had something special for the Rojas family.

“Everything was lost” at his mother’s house too, Jesse said, “except for a statue of the Blessed Mother.” The photo was shared by many in the wake of the storm.

As Jesse said: “The Divine Mercy and praying the Rosary really got us through that — and really believing in and trusting Jesus Christ himself.”

The Rojas family’s trust in Jesus is exactly what the message means, according to Father Chris Alar of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, who says this prayer is all about “entrusting ourselves into God’s hands,” putting our belief and hope in the providence of God.

The two great commandments of love God and love of neighbor “roll up into the No. 1 thing — to do the will of God,” he said. And to do the will of God “cannot be done without trust. God is God, and we are not, so we have to entrust ourselves to the providence of God even when it looks difficult. We have to trust him in giving us what’s best for our eternal salvation.”

Dave and Joan Maroney of the Mother of Mercy Messengers (TheDivineMercy.org/momm), a Divine Mercy apostolate outreach of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, are committed to explaining this blessed message to all they encounter.

“If you’re spiritually immature and say, ‘Jesus, I trust in you,’ you tend to think that means everything’s going to go my way; I’m not going to lose my job; my marriage isn’t going to fall apart; the doctor’s results will come back and I’ll be okay. ‘Jesus, I trust in you’ is not that things are always going to go our way,” Joan explained, adding that this powerful prayer really “means God knows us, loves us and has our best interests at heart. No matter what happens, we are in the palm of his hand. If this means we have a trial or difficulty to undergo, we trust in Jesus that he will sustain us.”

Joan Maroney sees this exemplified in the life of Our Lady. She trusted God even amid Christ’s passion, believing that the Resurrection would follow: “She trusted this was part of God’s plan for a greater good.” Maroney uses the example of someone suffering with cancer or another trial. “Offering that up is going to lead to the conversion of sinners” and other blessed outcomes. “No matter what happens, you trust in him fully.”

Trials and tribulations can cause many people to get mad at God or lose hope, but they must continue to focus on Christ. The Maroneys have heard many stories of people who kept trusting God amid struggles and eventually said, “Because of that I met my husband.” “I found a better job.” “I got back to the Church.”

Father Alar stressed, “The end goal of the cross is the Resurrection. But we can’t get to the Resurrection without the cross. [But] the cross leads to the Resurrection.”

In 1997 at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, Poland, St. John Paul II affirmed the truth of the Divine Mercy message: “If this person responds with a sincere heart: ‘Jesus, I trust in you,’ he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears.”

“Trusting in him is a grace from him, but also requires some effort from me,” Father Michael Freihofer of Granby, Colorado, explained. The priest promotes the Divine Mercy Chaplet in his five parishes, including St. Ann, St. Bernard, and Our Lady of Snow, with the bulletins carrying excerpts from St. Faustina’s diary.

“We say the Chaplet after Masses during Lent and a few other Sundays. We also give out Divine Mercy images and postcards. Several of our churches are in tourist locations, so we are able to promote the message of Divine Mercy to many people across the U.S.,” he explained.

Father Freihofer tells the story of a recent visitor who wanted to thank him for introducing her and her family to the Divine Mercy message during Mass on their Colorado visit five years earlier. Then she began praying the chaplet regularly and put pictures of the Divine Mercy image in the windows of their home.

This family also lost everything when their home burned down, but she told Father Freihofer because of the images of Divine Mercy in their home, they trust that Jesus will help them rebuild their lives.

The pastor, who is also the spiritual director for Word Apostolate of Fatima’s Denver division, is encouraged by such stories of trust in Jesus.

One parishioner told Father Freihofer her sister had not been a practicing Catholic for more than 45 years. Hit with an aggressive form of cancer, she refused to see a priest. All the while, Father Freihofer’s parishioner prayed for her sister’s medical and spiritual healing — with the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a frequent part of her prayer.

When it came time for her sister to enter hospice care, the parishioner asked her sister one more time, “Will you consent to having a priest come and anoint you?” She said, “Yes.” Soon, a priest arrived.

She died within days, said Father Freihofer, “on St. Faustina’s feast day, Oct. 5. Praise God for his Divine Mercy!”

“Get the [Divine Mercy] image out there,” Joan Maroney encouraged. “Trust what Jesus says about the 3 o’clock hour: ‘In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking’ (Diary, 1572).”

As Jesus assured St. Faustina, (Diary, 1578): “The graces of my mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to me, because I pour all the treasures of my graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give much, very much.”

Jesus! I Trust In You 

Was There Really Darkness And An Earthquake During Christ Crucifixion? Historians & Geological Evidence Gives Us Clues

Was There Really Darkness And An Earthquake During Christ Crucifixion? Historians & Geological Evidence Gives Us Clues

The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, relays the passion narrative thus:

“From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split” – Matthew 27:45,51.

Today, some authors and historians dismiss this record of events as simply imaginative fiction. What secular evidence do we have for darkness and an earthquake taking place at the Crucifixion?

Thallus in 52 A.D.

Thallus was the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus; in fact, he is so ancient his complete volume of works does not even exist anymore. Writing not even twenty years after the Crucifixion, he is quoted by Julius Africanus around 221 A.D. as trying to provide an explanation for the darkness that occurred at the Crucifixion:

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” – (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1).

Thallus attempted to explain the darkness at the Crucifixion away as simply an eclipse. A reasonable explanation, except that a solar eclipse can last at most seven minutes, not a full three hours as recorded in the gospels. Even more evidence the darkness was not simply a natural phenomenon, a solar eclipse can only take place at the new moon, however Christ was crucified during Passover which takes place during the full moon.

Phlegon in 137 A.D.

Even more conclusive non-Biblical evidence comes from Phlegon, who wrote an extensive chronology around the year 137 A.D. In his writing, he confirms the year of the Crucifixion darkness, and records that an earthquake took place.

“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [33 A.D.] there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’”

Geological Evidence

In a study conducted by secular geologists of an outcropping on the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea, a distinctive mixed sediment layer was linked to the Qumran earthquake of 31 B.C.

About a foot above the layer is a narrow band of another mixed sediment layer. Using sedimentation rates, the study determined the thin layer was placed about 65 years after the first, in the year 33 A.D.

This thin layer was determined to be caused by a prominent seismic event between the years 26 A.D. – 36 A.D., causing rocks to combine and form the thin mixed layer. According to the geological evidence, the earthquake that occurred at the Crucifixion was a real historical event.😱

Death With Dignity: A Friend Recounts St. Pope John Paul II’s Last Moments Of Life, 13yrs After 

Death With Dignity: A Friend Recounts St. Pope John Paul II’s Last Moments Of Life, 13yrs After 

St Pope John Paul II

A once avid outdoors-man whose final years were marked by disability and suffering, Saint John Paul II witnessed to what it truly means to die with dignity, says a close friend who was with him until the end.  

“He gave us tranquility and peace even up to the last day,” Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was present at the Polish pope’s death 13 years ago, told CNA in an interview in 2015.

“He restored dignity to death.”

Cardinal Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, who at the time was serving as an aide to John Paul II, recalls singing the Te Deum – a hymn of praise to God – moments after the pope died, because those in the room “were convinced that he had died a holy man.”

“A man prepares for a lifetime for this important moment, this passage from one life to another for the encounter with God,” he said.

John Paul II died at 9:37 p.m. on April 2, 2005, the day before Divine Mercy Sunday – a feast he established during his pontificate – after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Throughout his pontificate, the Polish pope spoke out against what he referred to as the “culture of death” which promotes ideologies such as abortion and euthanasia, and in turn championed for the promotion of human life and dignity.

Cardinal Dziwisz recalled the Pope’s last words to him before he died. “I kissed his hands and he told me ‘Thank you’ and gave me his blessing,” he recounted.

He also remembered how John Paul II, while on his deathbed, asked those who had come to say their farewells to read the Gospel to him.

“Priests read nine chapters of the Gospel of John for the love of God, and so he prepared for his encounter,” the Polish prelate said.

Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who would later choose the name John Paul II upon his election to the papacy, was born the youngest of three children in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920.

In 1942, at the height of World War II, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, and was eventually ordained in 1946.

He took part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965), being appointed archbishop of Krakow in 1964, and contributed to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes.

On Oct. 16, 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected pope at the age of 58.

Over the course of his 27 year pontificate – one of the longest in Church history – he traveled to 129 countries, and was instrumental in the fall of Communism in Europe in the 1980s.

“He did not create resentment, but instead knocked down the walls between people,” Cardinal Dziwisz said, observing he had close friends who were Jews, Muslims, and other religions. “Everyone was important for him because everyone was created in the image of God.”

The archbishop of Krakow also spoke of John Paul II’s strong sense of discipline throughout his life, which was always centered on prayer.

“He was a very disciplined man from the point of view of moral ethics,” he said. “Even at work, he never wasted time. He always had time for prayer.”

In fact, for John Paul II, prayer was never separated from work, Cardinal Dziwisz said. “He was immersed in God and in everything he did, he always walked with God and in prayer.”

He always kept this intimate relationship with God, of contemplation, of contact with God, and here was his strength: peace of mind. God exists, God commands, God, we must follow him. If you follow God, you see peace, even in difficult times, which as Pope, he had many.”

John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, at a ceremony which saw an estimated two million pilgrims flock to Rome. He was canonized April 27, 2014 in Saint Peter’s Square by Pope Francis on the same feast day.

Cardinal Dziwisz touched on the impact that John Paul II being declared a saint had upon the faithful.

I think people were convinced of his sanctity, that the supreme authority had approved the road of holiness, because we are sure that we could imitate his holiness.”

Good Friday: The Dark Night, Our Redemption, The Dance Of Heaven! 

Good Friday: The Dark Night, Our Redemption, The Dance Of Heaven! 

The beautiful ascetical rhythm of the committed pilgrim begins with reliance upon Christ and the sacraments. The soul continues to emerge from sin to holiness by the power of self-awareness, humility, and dependence on God as it wastes precious time in silent prayer with the One who reveals all and heals all.

Then, by Divine kindness, He allows the storm to rise. He is present, but the awareness of His presence and sustaining power slips into the background, obscured by the relentless wind and waves. The rhythm of the holy dance is broken and the heart is brought low as it seems to stand alone, separate and defenseless. Regardless of how much effort the holy heart extends to hold on to the beloved and maintain the ebb and flow of the dance, the eternal melody of peace fades, until all is a storm.

How is this a Divine kindness? It is a kindness because of our blindness. Holy hearts, created hearts, limited hearts, must be ever prepared and purified for deeper intimacy with the Beloved.

What seems to be a broken rhythm is really just an interlude, a purifying pause in the sacred dance. It is a place where God shifts the tempo to force us to see what we would otherwise miss in our comfort, bliss and complacency.

Our wounded hearts always drift from, but long for, the beloved. Our broken nature, no matter how much it shines in the eyes of the world, is always in need of purification through circumstances that cause us to reflect, to ask why, to weep, and to cry out for His help and healing.

It is a Divine kindness to allow us to fail and to fall that we might see our true state, our deepest need. When we cry out, He always steps back into view and with a gentle and heavenly touch calms the storm. If received, His perfect embrace of reunion releases the flow of holy tears and healing. If received…

When faced with this Divine kindness we have a choice. The world, the devil, and the flesh would have us flagellate ourselves into a bloody heap and then violently hurl barbs of condemnation into our battered souls. This self-flagellation is a kind of spiritual pride that only further imprisons the soul, emboldens the evil one, and solidifies the attachments that keep us from the healing He longs to give.

The Holy Spirit, our heavenly Lover and Healer, would have us come to the end of ourselves, weep, sorrow for our sins and imperfections, receive His love and forgiveness in reconciliation, and then return to the dance. When we return in this manner, we do so with a profoundly attentive humility and awareness of our need. Then the Holy one gently looks into our eyes, receives our trembling hand, and leads us ever more deeply into the sacred dance.

This is the dark night. This is the dance of Heaven. This is our redemption.

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