, via Wikimedia Commons
Many of the faithful are wondering “what to do” for the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. It’s approaching quickly on Dec. 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. We’ll have almost an entire year – to Nov. 20, 2016 – to meet the challenge by Pope Francis: to know the face of God’s mercy, Jesus Christ, and to show that face of mercy to your friends and neighbors, as well as your enemies.

Through my parish, St. Patrick Church in Onalaska, Wis., we are blessed with leaders who offered the “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” program by Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, (2010, Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.). What perfect timing to experience the knowledge of God’s awesome mercy and to embrace the Divine Mercy of the Lord. Yet, like many in my group, I felt both overjoyed and overwhelmed when I first learned that Jesus wants us to console Him, and we can indeed take action to console Him by showing acts of mercy to others. The concept of consoling Jesus was new to most of us.

Now following the program and approaching the Year of Mercy, I often wonder how I’ll continue to find this time in my busy life. I know I’m not alone. Again, the wonderful people from my church came through and offered their fellow parishioners simple ways through prayers and sacrifices to continue to Console the Heart of Jesus during the Year of Mercy. I hope that you find these ideas as inspirational and effective as I have in my life.

      1) Pray your “Morning Offering” in front of a crucifix and kiss each of his five wounds.  You also could make the sign of the cross in memory of each wound and when you do, express sorrow for a particular sin you have committed. Asking the Holy Spirit to bring to mind your sins might be helpful.

      2) When you hear someone use the Lord’s name in vain, change it into a prayer and offer it up for that person.  Example: “Oh, my God!” becomes, “Oh, my God up in Heaven, I love you and I praise your holy name!”

      3) Recite the following prayer on your way to church with your family. (Or if you’re going solo, pray it on your own.)

“Jesus, please help me to have my heart, my mind, and my soul open to the grace you have to offer me today. Please help everyone to have their hearts, their minds, and their souls open to the graces you have to offer them. But if for some reason, they are not able or willing to accept your grace, please know that we offer our hearts, our minds, and our souls to you.”

      4) Before going to sleep at night, or any time during the day, you can pray in this format below.

"Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner and on the whole world.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on the Muslims, those who are practicing their faith, those who are lukewarm, those who have left the faith, and those who are terrorists.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on the Jews, those who are practicing their faith, those who are lukewarm, and those who have left the faith.”

(Continue with Catholics, Protestants, those who are not Christian, etc. You also could use this prayer format for the president, governor, legislators, family members, etc.)

      5) Prayer is essential, but sacrificing is also a necessity. We often forget about the importance of making ACTUAL sacrifices to console Jesus. There’s a story about St. Therese of Lisieux who was sick in bed when she noticed a piece of paper on the floor. Although extremely ill, she rose out of bed to throw the paper away. She offered up this small sacrifice for a soul in need. Moments later, a man appeared. He told her that he had just been saved from the eternal fires of hell because of her small sacrifice.

      6) We can do many small sacrifices every day; we probably already do. Yet we must make an effort to ASK God to USE that sacrifice to accomplish good in the world and make up for our sins and the sins of others. Here are a dozen examples of little sacrifices:

  • Give up one kind of food/beverage for the day and offer it for a special intention.
  • Make an effort to converse with someone that you may not find particularly pleasing. (St. Therese did this often!)
  • Smile at someone who looks like they need it!
  • Say something genuinely kind to an unkind person.
  • Serve yourself last at lunch or dinner.
  • Pick up someone else’s trash that they’ve left behind.
  • When tempted to complain about someone, say something they do really well instead.
  • Allow someone to go ahead of you in line.
  • Cover a lunch/meal/coffee for someone in need or for a random stranger.
  • Give time listening to someone, even though you might have many errands and tasks to do.
  • Instead of worrying and wasting valuable time, practice the attitude of gratitude. Praise God for all the blessings in your life.
  • Thank God for the positives, and don’t focus on the negatives. Be the Christian light on a dark and dreary day.

      7) The following prayer can help you keep in mind what your goals are as a Christian each day. It makes doing sacrifices a little bit easier when you know they have a purpose.

Remember, Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life: God to glorify; Jesus to imitate; The Blessed Virgin and the Saints to venerate; The Angels to invoke;  A soul to save; A body to mortify; Sins to expiate; Virtues to acquire; Hell to avoid; Heaven to gain; Eternity to prepare for; Time to profit by; Neighbors to edify; The world to despise; Devils to combat; Passions to subdue; Death perhaps to suffer; And Judgment to undergo.

      8) Reciting this prayer from "Divine Mercy Daily" is very appropriate to console the Heart of Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, I hear your cry of, ‘I Thirst.’ Help me to offer even the little sufferings I endure, as well as the big ones, for the salvation of souls. With Your help, I join them to Your Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners."

      9) Whenever you feel anxious about a situation, pray, “Jesus, I trust in you!” This brief prayer, repeatedly recited, can help to calm your mind, body, and soul so you can return to consoling Jesus.

      10) Try to see the image of God in every person you meet. It’s a simple but powerful way to console our Lord throughout your day. Delight in the people you encounter and have a merciful outlook toward them.

What are the ways you will console Jesus?  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to discover even more prayers, praises, and sacrifices to console Jesus during your days. A special thank you again to the “Consoling” leaders at St. Pat’s in Onalaska!

Copyright 2015 Kim Seidel