A Jubilee of Mercy

Keep up with all the news at the official Vatican website for this very special liturgical year. 

 


Home-to-Home Divine Mercy kit

The Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy have let us borrow this travelling kit in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. The kit is available to families to sign out and pray with for a week, returning it so another family may take it home. It includes:

 

  • limited-edition Image of Divine Mercy
  • third-class relic of St. Faustina from Poland
  • sheet on How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • pamphlet about the Shrine to St. Faustina
  • Jubilee packet and prayer card
  • small bottle of Healing oil, blessed with the first class relic of St. Faustina, may be used to bless the family.

We have a sign-out sheet with the kit at the back of the church. We hope that many of you will take part in this special form of prayer—the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick, dying and the world. The Kit will be available near the main church entrance beginning June 4. 


Eucharistic Adoration 

Plan to spend an hour with Christ

Attend Eucharistic Adoration on First Fridays of June through to the end of the Year of Mercy.

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., every First Friday from June to November

Sign-up sheets will be at the back of the church. Choose the hour you're able to come and experience this most holy time of silent prayer, and add your name to the list. Fill in an empty spot if you can, or put your name next to someone else's. 

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ asked his apostles to remain awake and pray with him -- but they fell asleep and left him alone in his suffering. Let's make sure we don't leave him unattended! 


Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Think About It

Allowing physicians to hasten the death of their patients would create a radical paradigm shift in our health care and legal systems 

 Allowing physicians to hasten the death of their patients makes it difficult to know who deserves suicide prevention and who deserves death. 
 Legalizing physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia could pressure doctors (and other health care staff) to kill patients against their will and better judgement.


Giving patients enough medication to provide pain relief is not euthanasia, even if the higher dose might unintentionally shorten the patient’s life.  The intent is to reduce suffering,  unlike euthanasia, whose intent is to cause death. 

Legalizing physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia turns the taking of a human life into a positive good, a “service” to be performed at pubic expense and an obligation of the state to facilitate.  It converts the taking of a human life from a crime into a “service”. 


This is a challenging time for Catholic health institutions across Canada. People in Catholic facilities deserve to live with peace  of mind, knowing that they are safe in our care.


The solution to suffering is not to be killed, but to have proper pain management and proper support from the medical system.  Good palliative care is critical. 


In jurisdictions where euthanasia has been legalized, the initial restrictions have eroded. Belgium, for example, now allows euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age, with the consent of parents and doctors. 


Doctors who are against euthanasia and who care for terminally ill children argue that virtually all pain and other symptoms can be managed to minimize suffering. When they can’t be managed, a child can be given palliative sedation (a legal, moral, and ethical procedure) and allowed to sleep until death naturally occurs.


How to live mercy every day

Cultivate little kindnesses

Small chances for kindness arise every day. No opportunity for mercy is ever insignificant. Allowing another car to merge into your lane, calling a grieving friend, checking on an elderly neighbour, helping a co-worker, and holding the door for someone are just a few examples. Sometimes, a smile or a words of encouragement can change a person’s whole outlook. 

What are some of the small acts of mercy that you can do every day?

 

Don’t turn away  

When faced with an opportunity to be merciful, our greatest temptation is to look away.  It is easy to rationalize that someone else is better able to help than you are.  But the reality is, when we turn away from someone in need, we are turning away from Christ himself.  If we want to be more merciful, we have to be wiling to stand beside the other person—even if it makes our own lives more difficult.  When we do that, we become more humble, kinder, and more compassionate. 

How do you deal with the temptation  to turn away from someone in need? 
 

Refuse to Retaliate  

Merciful people don’t hold a grudge or try to even the score.  They let it go, give whatever happened to God and forgive.  Forgiveness allows you to let anger, hurt, and bitterness drain out of your heart.  It restores a sense of peace to your soul. Without forgiveness you become a prisoner to your own resentments.  With forgiveness, you mirror God’s mercy. 
 
Who are the people you need to forgive?

 

Dare to Really Care 

Allow yourself to look beneath another person’s surface needs and feel what that person is going through. Maybe it is physical pain. Or, maybe it is loneliness, rejection, discouragement, or fear. Imagine that you are seeing this person through the eyes of Jesus. Then decide how you can help that person.

How would your life change if you began to really care about other people? 

 

Welcome a stranger

  • Plan a mini pilgrimage to a local shrine; make an effort along the way to live the corporal work of mercy of “welcoming the stranger” as Christ.  
  • Do something kind and helpful for someone who you don't get along with, or who has wronged you. 

 

Perhaps we could take some time this month to consider how we might live out this corporal work of mercy:

Bury the Dead

  • · be faithful about attending wakes/visitations;
  • · support or volunteer at a hospice;
  • ·participate in a bereavement ministry;
  • · spend time with widows and widowers;
  • · take friends and relatives to visit the cemetery;
  • · donate lunch to and/or volunteer to work at a funeral lunch;
  • · offer daily prayers for those with terminal illnesses and for those who have died;
  • · send Mass cards to families of those who have died

 

I was hungry ...

Give to the poor: 

  • take some small bills or loose change (or coupon books if you prefer not to carry cash) with you to hand out to people you encounter who are in need
  • throw your coin change into a jar and periodically donate it to a charity
  • if possible make a regular monetary donation to a charity that tends to the needs of the poor

 

I was naked and you gave me clothing.

Be mindful of your behaviour online.  Is that post designed to improve our image … and leave others feeling bad?  Are you hammering people in order to serve your anger and humiliate others?

Take time in prayer to contemplate the good qualities of someone who is difficult for you.  Do the same for each member of your family. 

 

I was in prison and you visited me.

Visit prisoners

  • support and/or participate in ministries to those who are incarcerated
  • support programs sponsored by agencies that advocate on behalf of those who are unjustly imprisoned
  • support job-training and educational programs designed to rehabilitate prisoners
  • pray for the families of inmates
  • support programs that provide holiday gifts for prisoners and their families

 

There all different kind of prisons. We usually think of jail but a prison can be anything that keeps you feeling alone, stops you from leaving your space, or limits you from growing. For example, someone who is in a care home and does not get any visitors is in a prison of loneliness as is a child who is always alone on the playground.

Consider a donation equal to a gift or service you might give someone who is in a long-term care home, confined to their own home, in prison, in a wheelchair, or somehow isolated and unable to leave their ‘space’. (i.e. a magazine or book to read, a puzzle, music, etc.)

 

I was sick and you cared for me.

We all have been sick with a cold or the flu. Did you know some people don’t have anyone to care for them when they are sick? A lot of children in the world get sick because they don’t have the medicine to prevent disease or they can’t see a doctor or get to a hospital.

Consider making a donation equal to a gift or service you might give someone who is in hospital, dealing with a long-term illness, or recovering from an illness or operation (a card, bouquet of flowers, fruit tray, etc.) to groups providing medical care for those less fortunate.

Visit the Sick 

  • spend quality time with those who are sick or homebound 
  • take the time to call, send a card or an e-mail to someone who is sick 
  • volunteer to drive patients to medical appointments and treatment facilities
  • volunteer at a hospital
  • assist those who are full-time caregivers for family members
  • cook and delivers meals to the sick and homebound

Share what you have:

I was naked and you gave me clothing.

Lots of children and adults don't even have clothes to wear or enough clothes to keep them warm or protect them from the weather. A deeper meaning of having clothes to wear is to not be mean with words or actions. Words should only be used to heal, to bless and to help someone grow.

Respect is like clothing for our spirit. Consider making a donation equal to a clothing item that might be regularly bought by the family.  (socks, t-shirt, small accessories like earrings, gloves, etc.). 

I was hungry and you gave me food.  

Appreciate the food you have and don’t waste it. You can even make donations to our parish food drive.  Consider making a donation equal to a food item that is regularly bought by the family.  (i.e.  canned foods, a box of cereal, bag of rice, any items from our list, etc.)  

Pare down possessions:  share your things with the needy.  

If you’re sharing a treat, take the smaller potion.

Learn to say this prayer:  

Dear Lord, bless [annoying person's name] and have mercy on me!

Call someone you know is lonely, even if you don't understand why they are lonely. Especially if you do.

I was a stranger and you welcomed me

Unfortunately, many people in Canada and all around the world do not have a place to live. Providing a home also means giving them a place to belong. For example, this could mean visiting with someone who is lonely, or sitting by someone alone at lunch. Consider making a donation equal to something you might give to someone who is moving to a new home or country, or a donation equal to a gift you might give to a new baby.

Offer to drive an elderly person to Holy Mass.

Make it a point to smile, greet or make conversation with someone who is not in your everyday circle.

Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of mercy

Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth; keep watch, O Lord, at the door of my lips! (Psalm 141:3)

Be generous enough to allow someone to help you; people need to feel needed.


Great movies about Mercy 

As we journey through this Year of Mercy, why not learn more about someone who has lived out the works of mercy with their lives?  The Archdiocesan Resource Centre has many wonderful movie-length, family-friendly DVDs about people like Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Don Bosco and many more.  

All resources are available free of charge to all parishioners of the Archdiocese.  Check us out at www.archregina.sk.ca or call Teresa at 306-352-1651.   


Good reads for living Mercy

If you are looking for some good books to help you enter more deeply into this Year of Mercy, check out the Archdiocesan Resource Centre.

Here are a few suggestions:

·The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ, by Mark Shea

·God's Tender Mercy - Reflections on Forgiveness, by Joan Chittister

·The Church of Mercy, by Pope Francis


Prayer for Year of Mercy

Here is a copy of the Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee Year of Mercy you can print out.

 


Letter from The Holy Father

Link here to Pope Francis's letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, regarding Indulgences the faithful may receive in the Year of Mercy.


Initial Rite: Opening of the Holy Door

The Door of Mercy at Little Flower was blessed on Saturday, Dec. 12.

The Jubilee of Mercy will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015, and will conclude on November 20, 2016, with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Read more about this Rite...


Jubilee Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016

The logo and the motto together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The motto Merciful Like the Father (taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn, but to forgive and to give love and forgiveness without measure (cf. Lk 6:37-38).

The logo – the work of Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik – presents a small summa theologiae of the theme of mercy. In fact, it represents an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul, demonstrating that it is the love of Christ that brings to completion the mystery of his incarnation culminating in redemption. The logo has been designed in such a way so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love with the power to change one’s life.

One particular feature worthy of note is that while the Good Shepherd, in his great mercy, takes humanity upon himself, his eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, one’s own humanity and the future that lies ahead, contemplating, in his gaze, the love of the Father.

The scene is captured within the so called mandorla (the shape of an almond), a figure quite important in early and medieval iconography, for it calls to mind the two natures of Christ: divine and human. The three concentric ovals, with colors progressively lighter as we move outward, suggest the movement of Christ who carries humanity out of the night of sin and death. Conversely, the depth of the darker color suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father who forgives all.