Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Don’t waste this Divine Mercy Sunday
By Ding Cervantes

Apr 05, 2018

THE TEACHING is that if we sin, we will be punished. But we can be forgiven. In the case of fortunate Catholics, forgiven perfectly via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But we still have to be punished for the forgiven sins. That’s what Purgatory is for in the case of those who have left earthly life without the full completion of punishment proportionate to their transgression. After having undergone the needed purgation, the perfection of Heaven. That’s Divine Justice, right?

Wrong. I am not a priest, neither am I a theologian, but I assert with the authority of those who know. Wrong. Because the greatest attribute of God is His mercy.

And in our days -- where the biblical signs of the times are being spread, not in church pulpits, but by YouTube through channels showing actual videos of the most unusual things and events that cannot but compel assent to the Apocalypse -- we are given yet another sign: Divine Mercy Sunday. This year, it’s this Sunday, April 8.

It is a chance for partial or full exemption from punishment for forgiven sins. The Church calls it indulgence.

Quote from the National Catholic Register: A plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff ) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).

Further: Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter. It is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, which recommended a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and, during the ceremony, he declared: “It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called Divine Mercy Sunday.

“In the various readings, the liturgy seems to indicate the path of mercy which, while reestablishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings [Homily, April 30, 2000].”

John Paul II enriched Divine Marcy Sunday with a plenary indulgence, as will be so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.

In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.

If we die immediately after receiving a Divine Mercy Sunday plenary indulgence, we go straight to Heaven. No more Purgatory.

If we live on, the punishment due to our forgiven sins are gone. But, of course, being part of humankind, we continue to be covered by the purgative process due to the sins of humanity. So, if war happens in our community, we would still not be immune from it.

But then, Heaven can be there. Immediately.

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