Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a simple, uneducated, young Polish nun received a special calling. On the night of Sunday, 22 February 1931, while she was in her cell, Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina for the first time as the “King of Divine Mercy” wearing a white garment with red and pale rays emanating from his heart. For four years she recorded Jesus’ words, her visions, and her own thoughts and prayers in a personal diary.
The Divine Mercy devotion has spread throughout the Church since it was given near the beginning of the 20th century to the Polish nun and visionary St. Faustina Kowalska. The devotion includes many components, including a special image of Jesus to be venerated, a chaplet to be prayed on the beads of a rosary, a novena, […]
The Lenten season is filled with reminders to forgive. And, as difficult as it can be to forgive others, it can be just as hard to ask forgiveness for ourselves.
This litany is a great exercise in asking for forgiveness, especially from God. It can be prayed in addition to an examination of conscience, during family prayer or before going to Confession.
St. Bonaventure was a 13th century Franciscan friar, scholar, and holy priest who had a tender devotion to the Blessed Mother. This prayer to the Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows is attributed to him:
You laid down Your life willingly and gave up everything for us. Your body was broken and fastened to a Cross, Your clothing became the prize of soldiers, your blood ebbed slowly but surely away, and Your Mother was entrusted to the beloved disciple.
One of the essential pieces in the Rite of Penance is the examination of conscience. We take an internal self-examination of our spiritual life and bring to light those sins that keep us from a more intimate relationship with Christ. Here, we recall our sins and faults committed since our last confession.
The Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of His mother, Mary (Luke 2:35). The hymn originated in the 13th century during the peak of Franciscan devotion to the crucified Jesus .
Psalm 51 is the famous psalm of King David that he composed in repentance after being rebuked by the prophet Nathan for his adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband to cover it up. It is a lament, “a passionate expression of grief,” and the most well-known of the seven penitential psalms found in the Catholic Bible. It is prayed by the faithful as an expression of sorrow for personal sin, and as such it is a traditional prayer of penance for the Lenten season.
Although most popular during Lent, this season is not the only good time to pray the Stations of the Cross. It is always recommended to the faithful to meditate on Christ’s Passion frequently, especially on Fridays as a perpetual day of penance, to obtain graces and grow in holiness. “There is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ.” – St. Alphonsus de Liguori
Your Lent doesn’t have to end on a crash and burn. There is still time to finish it well. Thankfully, Lent is long enough (six weeks!) so that we have time to pick up and start again when we drop off through our own weakness, forgetfulness, or carelessness. If you struggle to make the big heroic sacrifices, here are simple things that you can do each day of the week to help prepare your soul for Easter.