Welcome to the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club! We're reading Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of Saint Faustina, by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet.
Long before I was a mother, I had a difficult time with trust. Anxiety makes up a portion of my daily life: it is the way God made me!
Now, as a wife and mother… Let’s just say that struggling with trust in God, and fearing for the health and safety of my children, feels *epic* some days. Trust is never an easy thing, in my experience.
In chapter 2 of Divine Mercy for Moms, Michele and Emily offer practical, yet meaningful, suggestions relating trust in God’s providence with the Divine Mercy devotion.
I do not know about you, but LISTS are among my favorite things in the world! Lists make me feel calm and organized. Indeed, we have our very own list of five items to assist us in working on trusting in God’s guiding hand via Divine Mercy!
The Image of Divine Mercy
Looking up and seeing a religious item such as a rosary or a painting as I go about my day always brings me such comfort. The image of Divine Mercy, specifically, is designed to offer solace.
The rays of blood and water coming from His chest, signs of the suffering He endured solely for love of us, along with His left foot moved slightly forward, as if in motion towards us, call peaceful security to mind.
I have a color print of the Divine Mercy image in my office tucked away on a bookshelf, and whenever I need a boost I take a peek at it.
The Feast of Divine Mercy
I look forward to this feast every year, and I suspect that I am not alone! I love that it is a movable feast that falls each year on the first Sunday of Easter, which is always such a glorious time of year.
Emily mentions that she and her family look forward to the feast each year, and prepare for it with the Divine Mercy novena.
Did someone say ‘novena’? Novena Nerd, reporting in for duty!
I too love this particular novena, and one poignant reason that Emily mentions is the timing: we begin praying it on Good Friday. What a beautiful reminder of the mercy that is to come following the sorrow of the Crucifixion!
We can attain extra graces during the novena period by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, performing an act of mercy for another person (Why not pray the Chaplet for their intentions? More on that in a moment), and then attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist on the feast itself.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
I love the chaplet of Divine Mercy. It is quick and easy to pray, and can be accomplished on a regular pair of rosary beads, which you are fairly likely to already own, or acquire easily.
I enjoy praying the chaplet with my children, because it takes little more than five minutes to pray, and they are much less likely to become squirmy and impatient as opposed to when I try and coax them into a few decades of the rosary.
The prayers of this chaplet are incredibly soothing, and I was very touched by the lovely story Michele related about how the chaplet can be used to comfort a dying person.
The Hour of Great Mercy
The hour of Divine Mercy is three o’clock in the afternoon, a time at which many of us are likely at peak busyness. Whether you are driving children home from school, to soccer practice, or winding down your office work day, your mind is bound to be occupied at three o’clock.
Emily encourages us, though, to do our best to let go of the distractions and briefly let our thoughts focus solely on Christ. I have the following passage underlined in my copy of the book, due to the degree with which I related to it:
“I wasted a lot of time feeling frustrated with my vocation. Sadly, instead of asking Christ to join me on my radical side of motherhood, I felt that motherhood was holding me back from growing spiritually. Now, I try to unite my vocation as a wife and mother with prayer. I soon discovered that each moment I gave to Christ with intentionality and love, I received not only the graces I needed to be a good mother, but true happiness as well.”
Since reading this book, I have begun trying much harder to set mental time aside to pause and pray. Three o’clock is the perfect time to do this. We can set an alarm on our phones to remind us!
Spreading Devotion to Divine Mercy
As moms, we often have that motherly instinct for who is need of a little love and mercy on a given day. Of course, our children need that from us, and family prayer time focusing on the Divine Mercy devotion can be a wonderful opportunity to hold them close and listen to what is on their mind.
Other people that we meet throughout our day fall into this category too, though. A kind word or a patient pause can mean so much.
On my way home from work later that day, I could pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the intentions of that person. Praying for someone else *always* makes me forget about the anxieties that are bouncing around in my own head!
And it would be a lovely touch to carry a bevy of small prayer cards bearing the image of Divine Mercy to hand to such a person in need of a lift that day.
The above are five simple suggestions for allowing ourselves to more fully grasp the message of Divine Mercy. I love concise action items that I can immediately implement in my daily routine, and our authors provide us with that in abundance!
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To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
- Of the five suggestions for integrating the Divine Mercy devotion into our lives and trusting more in God’s plan for us, which is your favorite? How do you plan to incorporate it into your daily routine?
- Do you plan to observe the feast of Divine Mercy any differently next year as a result of reading this book? If so, how?
- What is one instance in which someone else has shown mercy to you in a profound way?
Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.
Download this week's printable journal:
Next week, we'll cover Chapter 3: Showing Mercy to Our Neighbor. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club page.
Copyright 2016 Tiffany Walsh
About the Author
Tiffany Walsh is a wife and mother, a native western New Yorker, and a college librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student via her love of books, and is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics, part of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women series. She enjoys writing about faith, crafting, dance, fitness and wellness. Visit her blog at Life of a Catholic Librarian.