A Note from Father Ed
I have been talking about this weekend coming up, that Sunday is a special day, as it is Divine Mercy. If you have started a Divine Mercy novena great, but not to worry if you didn’t. You can say the chaplet at any time. There are many prayer intentions that one can use. I simply just pray for an end for the corona virus. I figure God will take care of it from there.
In our cluster, at Our Lady of Lourdes, our tradition has been to have a special service for Divine Mercy Sunday. We would have a speaker, recite the Divine Mercy chaplet, and offer the sacrament of confession with several priests available. Now with our shutdown conditions we cannot do that.
I did some checking. I went to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy website to see what they suggested. Fr Chris Alar is the director and he has a video on YouTube explaining what we can do in this time of not having the Eucharist or churches open.
His explanation is this, and I have paraphrased a little: The two most important components to receive the Divine Mercy graces are to go to confession and receive communion. He acknowledged for many people this may not be possible. He referenced in the Catechism paragraph 1451 that says we should at least make a sincere act of contrition, confirming in our hearts that we will make a sincere effort to have a conversion of heart, reject sin, and foster a desire to go to confession at the first opportunity available.
The second step, to make a sincere spiritual communion with the desire to go to communion when it is first offered again. At the end of communion in the masses we live stream, we say the Spiritual Communion prayer for those who cannot receive communion at that time.
By doing these two acts you would receive the graces offered by Divine Mercy. He stated that our souls would be free from sin and punishment just as they were when we were first baptized.
To help you with confession, I will offer confessions this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. on the West side of church in the parking lot between church and school. We can practice social distancing and respect each person’s privacy. Confessions need to be on Saturday because of our private mass schedule on Sunday.
Then on Sunday watch one of our live streaming masses; 11:30 in English, or 1:15 in Spanish, or English again at 4:15 and make a spiritual communion. This will suffice for the requirements of receiving the Divine Mercy graces. Or watching any live streaming mass by any priest will be adequate too.
Here is one version of the Act of Contrition, you may know another:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee: and I detest my sins most sincerely because they displease Thee, my God, Who art so deserving of all my love for Thy infinite goodness and most amiable perfections: and I firmly purpose by Thy holy grace never more to offend Thee.
Here is the prayer of a Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now 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.
If you go to the calendar on our website, stjosephricelake.org you will see our calendar in the lower right section of the website. Click on the confessions in the calendar and it will open and give you instructions on how to make an examination of conscience. I will add the above information for your convenience.