Divine Mercy Sunday - Dives in Misericordia
Faith in God's Mercy is one of the fundamental truths of the Christian creed. God is Mercy and Love. The Bible is using this very word (mercy of God) 200 times.
About this Christ reminded the twentieth century humanity in a very special way. God reminded us about this through the revelation given to Sister Faustina Kowalska - a modest, unknown, uneducated person. Jesus came to her and told her remarkable words: "In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you to all of humanity with my Mercy. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I want to heal it, embracing sinners with love of my Merciful Heart"(Diary, 1588).
Canonization of the "secretary of Divine Mercy" Sister Faustina Kowalska done by Pope John Paul II on April 30 2000.
White Sunday, ending the octave of Easter, is celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. In a spontaneous way the faithful worshiped and honored Divine Mercy on this Sunday already from the time of World War II. The official celebration was introduced by the "letter for Lent in 1985" and established for the first time in the diocese of Kraków, by Cardinal Franciszek Macharski.
Then the other bishops introduced the feast of Divine Mercy in their dioceses. In 1995, at the request of the Bishops, the Holy See issued a decree permitting the celebration of the feast in all Polish dioceses, while maintaining the liturgical norms in force on that date. Of course this White Sunday celebration has its origin in the visions of Sr. Faustina.
"I wish that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy" (Diary 299) - said to her Lord Jesus. These and similar words are repeated in the Diary at least 14 times. How much the message of the apparitions of Sr. Faustina is up to date, show the words of the Encyclical Dives in Misericordia. John Paul II writes: "Present-day mentality, more perhaps than people in the past, seems opposed to God's mercy, and also aims to very idea of mercy move to the margins of life and to remove from the human heart. The word and the concept of "mercy" if they interfere with a man who, by the development of science and technology unknown before more than ever in history has become his own master."
It is true … we have some problem with accepting the concept of mercy. We are afraid or even humiliated by the fact that we can receive something free of charge. We are accustomed to pay for everything and the idea that I can get something out of mercy put me in a position of a bagger or a position of submission.
To obtain the Mercy of God, I must first believe in Him, but also be myself merciful, I have to recognise that I need Divine Mercy and I can show to others the same mercy in my life ...
The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy.
The word and the concept of "mercy" seem to cause uneasiness in man, who, thanks to the enormous development of science and technology, never before known in history, has become the master of the earth and has subdued and dominated it. This dominion over the earth, sometimes understood in a onesided and superficial way, seems to have no room for mercy.
I am so great that I don't need God's Mercy. God's Mercy is humiliating for me, because it presupposes that I am pitiful or pathetic. If I am searching for "feeling good" the concept of Divine Mercy is awkward and unacceptable.
However, in this regard we can profitably refer to the picture of "man's situation in the world today" as described at the beginning of the Constitution Gaudium et spes. Here we read the following sentences: "In the light of the foregoing factors there appears the dichotomy of a world that is at once powerful and weak, capable of doing what is noble and what is base, disposed to freedom and slavery, progress and decline, brotherhood and hatred. Man is growing conscious that the forces he has unleashed are in his own hands and that it is up to him to control them or be enslaved by them." (Dives in Mosericordia ch. 2 - 1980)