Should We Pray For People After They Die?

04/03/2016

Catholics say “pray for souls in Purgatory.”

Non-Catholic Christians say “there’s no need to pray for souls after they’re dead.”

In this final video of the 2016 Lent and Easter season, I ask some basic questions about this dichotomy.

Happy Feast of the Divine Mercy!

Pray the Chaplet. Today and every day.

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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 Eight – Easter Friday

04/01/2016

Today is the Mass of Christian Burial for Reverend Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation

Did Mother Angelica ascend to Heaven? Were her 5,207 days of suffering enough? She suffered a brain hemorrhage on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2001. She died last Sunday, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Was that sufficient suffering? Her Purgatory here on Earth?

We can all hope that the Lord kept her here, to suffer in silence for most of those days, the great communicator that she was, so that she doesn’t have to endure further purification in Purgatory.

But…

just in case…

… pray for her soul.

For we don’t know if her body is yet perfected.

There’s a little more here:

Today is also Day 8 of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. 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 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.

 

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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 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.

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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 One, Good Friday

03/25/2016

It’s Good Friday evening.

I’ve tried to stay in the spirit of the day today, around appointments with clients and Easter shopping.

I heard a beautiful rebroadcast of an old Mother Angelica Live program on EWTN Radio this morning. She was going through the Stations of the Cross and inviting callers to recite prayers that they thought appropriate for the particular Station. Mother has a simple manner of explaining challenging concepts. And she is funny! An engaging dry wit.

Tonight, we’re watching “Son of God.”  It’s a 2014 film, told from the perspective of the apostle, John. It’s not bad. Not as gripping as “The Passion of the Christ,” but it attempts to tell a slightly more complete story. And again, “Son of God” is told from John’s perspective. And…

nothing is as moving as Mel Gibson’s movie.

Last night, we watched “The Robe.”

I cannot watch any of the countless movies written about or surrounding the life of Jesus without getting emotional. In this, The Week That Changed The World, this is the saddest day.

Today is also Day One of the Novena to The Divine Mercy.

Jesus told Sister Maria Faustina that the Feast of Mercy should be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.

Jesus requested that the Feast be preceded by a Novena that should begin on Good Friday (a novena is typically nine days of prayer that prepares us for a feast day).

Today, the first day.

Jesus told Sister Faustina

Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.

And we pray:

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. 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.

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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.


What If You’re Divorced?

08/14/2015

I am divorced. And in the deep recesses of my being, I still allow that to define me.

Today’s Gospel is a difficult one for me.

a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife

Why did it happen?

The reasons are layered and complex. I was (and probably still am) blessed with a certain level of naivete. Socially, I’m clumsy. If I don’t come across that way, it’s not because I don’t feel that way.

Never, ever, in a thousand years… in a million years… did I ever even suspect that Sue and I would become a statistic.

and the two shall become one flesh

That’s not an excuse. I do not excuse myself.

Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.

Okay… so what made me think that it was permissible to separate what God joined together?

I never did. I don’t think it is permissible for any of us.

Just like I don’t think it’s permissible to live contrary to any of God’s laws.

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”  They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” – Matthew 9:3-12

No other gods. No idols. Keep the sabbath. Honor Mom and Dad. Don’t kill. No adultery. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t covet. Don’t covet (yes, apparently we need more than one reminder of that one).

So… how good are you at adhering to those?

I suck at it. Pardon the vernacular.

How do we resolve what Jesus told the Pharisees?

I don’t know.

I know what the Catholic Church teaches. Sort of. I know they permitted me and Kathy to both seek (and have granted) a formal annulment of our previous marriages, thus giving us permission to marry each other — in a second sacramental union (for me) — and still participate in the sacramental life… receiving Holy Communion, having our sins forgiven in Confession.

Have I resolved all this in my own mind?

No.

That is clearly because I am an imperfect, flawed human being.

My ways are not His ways.

Okay, this is supposed to be a quick meditation. Not a sermon. Not a book. So…..

Has anything helped me overcome my guilt?

A handful of years ago (was it five, six, more?), I discovered the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If you are familiar with me and this blog, you know that.

Jesus was born into this hellhole to save us from ourselves.

We’re the ones who have taken His Father’s glorious creation and created a cesspool, made a mess of just about whatever we’ve laid our hands on.

We are imperfect human beings.

We will sin. We will be immoral. We will offend others and thus offend God.

We will.

Today.

Reflect on that before you nod off tonight. And ask forgiveness.

Today’s Responsorial Psalm:

His mercy endures forever. – Psalm 136 (all verses)

The Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to human beings. The Lord, Jesus Christ, has made Himself known and spoken clearly to human beings.

Mary gave us the Holy Rosary.

Jesus gave us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

He promised that even the most hardened sinner, if they will say the Chaplet even once, will be granted His Divine Mercy.

It’s stuff like that, folks, that engages my consciousness, that gives me hope, that permits me to forgive myself, that keeps me strong.

I don’t know if my words do that for you. But I want them to.

If you’re struggling with something, I don’t have all the answers. But I do have empathy. I’m capable of praying for you (or with you). And I believe with every ounce of life that my/our prayers are heard and answered.

Don’t forget to listen. Never forget to listen. The answers are there. We also suck at listening.

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Today is also the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

You did not choose me, but I chose you… John 15:16a

St. Maximilian had a lifelong devotion to Mary. He wanted to start a radio station. Instead, he was captured by Nazis and died in a concentration camp.

He chose one thing. The Lord chose another.

Decades later, Mother Angelica spearheaded EWTN. How much more powerful and meaningful is the legacy of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe because of his experience and suffering at the hands of enemies of God than if he got what he chose?

I pick up my pen and tap on my computer to get these words out. Yes, I choose to write. I choose to press “Publish.” I can’t help but feel in some way the only reason I’m doing this is because He chose me. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just supposed to get you to think.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for still not posting a meditation daily.

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