Mercy me!

Living only 25 minutes from the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy has its advantages. I was quite looking forward to driving up to the Shrine, making my confession, praying the Rosary, serving as lector, and praying the Chaplet as I've been doing each Sunday since Christmas. This Sunday was especially opportune because doing all of the above meant receiving a plenary indulgence.

Little did I know that 15,000 other Catholics had the same idea. After parking miles away, waiting in line for a shuttle bus, and entering a throng of umbrellas gathered on the hillside so thickly you couldn't see the field altar, the thought entered my head-- "well, I guess I won't be lectoring this Sunday".

It was surreal. The beautiful lawn on which I had looked forward to spending some quiet time in prayer was overflowing with runoff from the dense rainfall and hordes of people very few of whom were speaking English. No matter how closely I attempted to press towards the altar, the best view I could get was of the peak of the roof. There was a line for the confession tent, a line for the adoration tent, a line for concessions, and a line for the gift shop. I couldn't even come near the door to the Shrine. I was just stuck without and outside, getting soaked by bone-chilling rain, watching my hopes for a plenary indulgence dribble away.

I had already been to Mass the night before, so all was not lost. It was a belwether moment for me; I need to do all I can to live in a manner worthy of the Indulgence- and focus less on trying to meet the specifications. Rather than harbor any resentment towards the madding crowd that stood between me and my quaint dream of a Sunday afternoon, I reminded myself that I am the more fortunate one; I am able to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine any day of the week, yet for most of these pilgrims this was a one-shot deal.

If you've never prayed the Chaplet, consider starting this Sunday. A year from now you may have found your life more grace-filled than ever. O Jesus, I Trust in YOU~


Mark John said...

Ohhh, yes... Divine Mercy! Is there anything else in this world more beautiful for a sinner?

-Jesus, I trust in you-

Rosemary Bedoya said...

Good morning Seth.
Today I visit your website, how impressed I am. You are truly and angel. And I love how you are working and sending God's message thru the WEB.
Well done!
I will visit often.
God bless you.

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