Happy April Fool’s Eve, Darlin’!

03/31/2016
I met my future wife right now, 10:30 PM — yes, that’s correct, on April Fool’s Eve — 32 years ago tonight, March 31, 1984.
I was waiting for the final decree of dissolution of marriage and not feeling very good about myself. A mid-life crisis at age 25. Hated my chosen profession. My opinion of myself wasn’t much better.
 
Then, I met Kathy, a divorced mom of two little ones. On April Fool’s Eve.
Little did she know, the joke was on her.
 
My life changed instantly. 15 months later, we were married. Instant fatherhood. Three more kids, seven grandchildren, and now another grandchild on the way, the first of our own progeny.
At Doug and Amy's wedding, 5/23/15.

At Doug and Amy’s wedding, 5/23/15.

The years have flown by. So many things have happened. Good. Bad. Sad. Happy. Awful. Miraculous.
We’ve hung onto the mast of the listing boat and sailed on very smooth seas. No doubt, more rocky waters are ahead. But that’s okay. That’s life.
 
I love ya, Kath. Thanks for putting up with me all these years.
 
As long as you’re in the boat with me, everything will be okay.
Stephen, Doug, Andy, Sarah, and Martha at Doug's and Amy's wedding, 5/23/15

Stephen, Doug, Andy, Sarah, and Martha at Doug and Amy’s wedding, 5/23/15.

 

 

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Divine Mercy Novena: Day Seven – Easter Thursday

03/31/2016

Do you have a heart of mercy?

Who is the most merciful person you know?

I think of many ladies who have crossed my path since I was a little guy. But the most vivid examples are historical figures.

The first person who comes to mind for me — and likely for you — is Mother Teresa. Seeing poverty that surrounded her in Calcutta, she resigned as headmistress of the school where she had taught for almost twenty years and founded the Missionaries of Charity.

Amazingly, Mother Teresa was not only criticized for her stands against birth control and contraception, but also by the famous atheist, Christopher Hitchens, for seeking advanced treatment for her heart failure. Methinks he probably never heard what Mother Angelica had to say about suffering.

I also recall the women who grieved for Jesus on the way to to His crucifixion.

Today is Day 7 of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.

 


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Six – Easter Wednesday

03/31/2016

What does it really mean to be humble?

We have a perfect role model…

 

Today is the sixth day of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

 

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

 

————————–

Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Five, Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

03/29/2016

Who are you kidding?

I heard that a couple of days ago. Me. The hypocrite.

Listen… I don’t do this because I think I’m better than you.

I ain’t no holy roller.

I’m just like you. Probably worse. So, I pray my little fanny off. If I may use the vernacular. I’d say dupa, but that’s Polish slang for fanny that may offend some.

There I go again…

Day 5 of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

 

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

————————–

Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Four, Easter Monday

03/28/2016

Rest in Peace, Reverend Mother Mary Angelica, 1923-2016

Mother Angelica, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network and now the largest religious media network in the world, passed away yesterday, Easter Sunday, at approximately 5:00 PM Central Time.

Bittersweet.

Sad for us.

But she gets to meet Jesus face to face.

Today is Day Four of the Divine Mercy Novena.

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls of those who do not believe in God, and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.

Our prayer:

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God* and those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages.
Amen.

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

————————–

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Three, Happy Easter

03/27/2016

Can you imagine standing around the empty tomb, wondering what the heck was going on?

Where was He?

Where’s the Body?

What have they done with Him?

Who did this?

Can you imagine seeing a man who you thought was dead rise again?

Without being melodramatic, without overstating, in no way comparing the two situations…

I can answer “yes!” An emphatic YES!

When Dad was ill in 2014, nobody — and I mean nobody — on his medical team offered us even a glimmer of hope.

In fact, I couldn’t even trick them into uttering the word.

I also think that more than one of them left the room crying, on the verge of tears, or red-eyed.

It was somber. It was awful.

Dad’s still alive. Two years later. Five times by my count, I thought we lost him. Five times.

He beat the odds. He defied the doctors. He cheated death.

He had to learn to talk again (no, it wasn’t a stroke). He had to learn to swallow again (not kidding). He had to learn to take a sip again. He had to learn to eat, to sit up, to stand for more than a second…

On and on and on…

Today, he and Mom will be at our house to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

I have witnessed miracles. First-hand.

And Jesus, demonstrating the greatest miracle ever on the greatest day of the year, really… truly rose from the dead. It transformed His disciples. It transformed a people. It transformed the world.

Today is the third day of the Divine Mercy Novena. Today, Jesus asks us to pray for all the devout and faithful souls that helped Him complete the painful walk to Calvary.

So that He could rise from the dead.

After visiting Hell.

To save us all. Even the greatest sinner. Even if you don’t believe.

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse then in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

And we pray:

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

 

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul'”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

————————–

Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Two, Holy Saturday

03/26/2016

Holy Saturday and Mary

What was it like to be the mother of Jesus? The mother of God?

As a general rule, Saturdays in the Catholic Church are set aside to pay special honor to Mary, the mother of the Savior of the world. There’s something a whole lot different about this Saturday.

Hear what I have to say about Mary on the saddest Saturday of the year.

Divine Mercy

Today is also the second day of the Divine Mercy Novena, the nine days leading up to the Feast of Mercy, the Second Sunday of Easter, as instructed by Jesus Himself.

Yesterday, we prayed for all mankind, especially all sinners. Today we pray for the souls of priests and religious.

Jesus told Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.

And we pray:

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard—upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

————————–

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul'”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

————————–

Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


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