The Church’s Year of Mercy comes to a close on November 20, 2016, but God’s mercy does not come to an end. It endures forever. The purpose of having a year especially dedicated to mercy was to teach us to live our lives trusting in God whatever the future may bring. Just as physical therapy makes us “fit” for life, so does the spiritual therapy of this year of mercy make us fit for living Christianity to the full. Since God’s mercy has no end, we can depend upon it for the duration of our life on earth and for all eternity.
One of the greatest works of mercy is to pray for the living and for the dead. All of us need God’s mercy and so, it is an act of true friendship and love when we obtain mercy for others by our prayer and sacrifice. Our Lady of Fatima told the three children Lucia, Francesco and Jacinta, that many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and offer sacrifices for them.
We do not need to go searching for sacrifices to offer up for souls. Each day brings with it an abundance of little or great sufferings and inconveniences. Do not waste them! Do not let them slip by amidst grumbling and complaints. Unite yourself with Jesus’ sufferings. Offer them, asking graces for the living and for the dead. Jesus told St. Faustina: “I need sacrifice lovingly accomplished, because that alone has meaning for me. Enormous indeed are the debts of the world which are due to me; pure souls can pay them by their sacrifice, exercising mercy in spirit” (Diary #1316).
You may think “All that sounds wonderful, but what about all the times I forget to do it, or when I just do not do it? Can Jesus use my failures?” Yes, he can – and he will if we just turn to him with a contrite heart.
Jesus told St. Faustina: “Your misery does not hinder my mercy” (Diary #1182). Jesus’ mercy always comes to a humble heart and will pass through it to others. Trusting in his merciful love for all people everywhere, let us pray for the living and the dead. May he use us and our sacrifices and prayers to reach out to others.
“Jesus, send your mercy to me and through me to others.” These words in themselves are a very short and simple way to pray for the living and the dead.
Many people are not open to the direct approach and are not yet willing to listen to or discuss eternal truths. The way needs to be prepared and prayer is the best means to accomplish it.
The holy souls in purgatory cannot help themselves. They pray always but cannot merit anymore for themselves. They need our help. Our prayers hasten their entrance into heaven, while their prayers obtain many graces of God’s mercy for us on earth.
Whatever the future may bring, this year of special training and exercise in the works of mercy will enable us to stand with Jesus firm in faith, trusting in his love, allowing his mercy to flow to us and through us to others.