Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great Mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).
On each decade of the small beads, pray the following:
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
At the end of the Chaplet recite three times the following prayer:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Then conclude with the following prayer said three times also:
O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as Font of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.
The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).
Say now to my little ones everywhere: I have spoken to you now for many years. Yet many -- too many -- of you do not take my words to heart.
Why do you clamor for signs and wonders when your hearts wander from one temporal diversion to another? Why do you wait to receive my words, only to cast them aside because they do not give you a precise picture of future events. My children, all the future is known but to God. Yet, in His Infinite Mercy, He sends me , His Mother, to call you back to holiness, to all virtue, to the fullness of the Gospel. All that you need my Divine Son has given you.
Yes, little children, I will speak yet a little while longer. But through my hidden one I speak of my Son's Infinite Mercy. I speak of absolute Trust in my Divine Son so that faith and love shall blossom forth. Help me, my children, to let the world drink from the Font of Divine Mercy. The Hour of Mercy must be poured out before the fullness of the Father's Justice. Pray very, very much, for this is the Year of Sorrow so great it shall be as a rampaging river.
I love and bless all of you. Come quickly into the Refuge of my Divine Son's Sacred Heart. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Say now to My little ones: Come. Walk in My footsteps. Be not afraid, for it is I, Jesus Christ, Who walks with you at every step. I do not abandon My own.
I, your Lord and Savior, call all into the Refuge of My Heart, the Font of Divine Mercy. I call all the world back to the Father's Will, to holiness, to peace.
O! How you search frantically for peace but find it not. How you divert yourselves with every available human, worldly pleasure and forget Me completely. You seek diversion at all times, never quiet and still to hear My Voice pleading with you to come to Me. You cannot know Me unless your heart be opened and the Holy Spirit fills you. Therefore, ask for this grace, and Love Me with all your being, and all that you need shall be given unto you.
In this Holy Season of Lent, I call to you with Love from the Cross. Do not turn away. Run to Me, and you shall find my Mercy.
I love and bless you and again call you to My Heart, which is the Font of Divine Mercy!
The Holy Father, in his traditional Urbi et Orbi message, said that every Christian is obligated to "proclaim the amazing newness of the Gospel." Then, referring to the violence that afflicts many parts of the world, he continued: "But how can this message of joy and hope be made to resound when many parts of the world are submerged in sorrow and tears? How can we speak of peace, when people are forced to flee, when they are hunted down and their homes are burnt to the ground? When the heavens are rent by the din of war, when the whistle of shells is heard around people's homes and the ravaging fire of bombs consumes towns and villages? Enough of this cruel shedding of human blood!"
Speaking directly to the fighting in Kosovo, the Pontiff called upon Serbian leaders to open a "humanitarian corridor," allowing the delivery of aid supplies. "There can be no frontiers to impede the work of solidarity," he said; "corridors of hope are always a necessity."
During the Easter Mass, attended by an estimated 50,000 people, the Pope said in his homily: "Who could unite earth to heaven once more, and man to his Creator? The answer to the unsettling question comes to us from Christ, who, breaking the chains of death, made his heavenly light shine upon men."
In a related story, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, who visited Albania during Holy Week as the Pope's personal envoy, told the Italian newspaper Avvenire, that the Holy Father was working on two fronts to ease the suffering in Kosovo. While sending humanitarian aid to the civilians, the archbishop noted, at the same time the Pope was begging political leaders to end the violence.
Archbishop Cordes, who delivered a $50,000 contribution from the Pope's charities, also visited refugee camps before he celebrated Mass on Holy Thursday at the cathedral in Tirana, Albania. He said he was struck by the sheer number of refugees, and by the depression that was evident in their faces.
Meanwhile, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has called for a "burst of responsibility" in Europe, in response to "the double war that bloodies Yugoslavia."
In a front-page story published April 4, L'Osservatore Romano use the term "double war" to refer to "the one begun last week by NATO, and the civil war which had already afflicted the poor peoples of Kosovo for more than a year." These conflicts must be stopped, the newspaper said, by renewed negotiations.
"The search for alternatives to force does not entail absolving those who are responsible for so much suffering," the Vatican newspaper added. The article repeated the Vatican insistence that the solution to the conflict must be supervised by the United Nations and the European community, adding that international leaders must "spare no effort" in the cause of peace.
Noting that European leaders had spurned a papal plea for an "Easter truce," L'Osservatore continued, "Europe cannot limit its response to saying No." The article challenged leaders to provide realistic alternatives to the current warfare. Denouncing the "negligence" that has been evident in Europe's response to the crises that have rocked the Balkans for several years, L'Osservatore concluded: "The European Union can and must recognize its past errors in order to avoid a similar future."
The suit had sought an injunction against Clinton, claiming he had violated the US Constitution by breaking international treaties. Lawyers for the bishops said Judge Elaine Bucklo's decision to throw out the case so quickly actually benefits them because it allows them to appeal to a higher court right away. "We understand that the president is unlikely to respond to a court, except for the Supreme Court," said attorney Robert Pavich.
The lawsuit charged that Clinton had violated three treaties: the Charter of the United Nations, the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact of 1928, and the Hague Convention No. 4 of 1907. This was the first lawsuit of its kind, according to constitutional scholars.
The Rev. Milos Vesin, a spokesman for the Serbian Orthodox Church of the United States, said that long after Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic and Clinton are out of power, it is the Serbian people and their church that will continue to suffer the physical and spiritual wounds. The plaintiffs had provided a list in their lawsuit of 30 relics and icons in Serbia and Kosovo that are endangered by the bombing campaign. "We have standing because it's our property being affected; it's our religion that is being diminished," said Anthony D'Amato, a Northwestern University law professor who helped draft the lawsuit.
In an intervention during a discussion of population and development, held at the UN headquarters in New York during the final week in March, the Vatican stressed that "no nation should be obliged to change the laws forbidding abortion." Msgr. James Hugh, the Vatican representative, also bitterly complained that UN agencies had devoted their attention solely to the issues of contraception, rather than to the promotion of economic development in impoverished countries.
The UN discussion was part of the follow-up work generated by the 1994 world conference on population and development--- the Cairo conference. Msgr. Hugh pointed out that the Cairo conference had produced a clear mandate for work to promote economic development, while rejecting efforts to require some countries to discard laws restricting abortion. He also reminded the UN that the Cairo conference had explicitly condemned the use of abortion as a means of curtailing population growth.
Msgr. Hugh added that many of the problems which could readily be addressed with existing resources-- such as sanitation, inoculation to curb epidemics, and fundamental social services-- continue to cause suffering in the Third World. These problems remain unresolved, he charged, because of the "disproportionate" emphasis on family-planning issues.
The UN Cairo+5 preparatory population control conference ended last Wednesday without issuing a final document as the Vatican and developing nations united to block the most controversial aspects of the agenda.
The Cairo+5 committee, so-named because of the fifth anniversary of the 1994 Cairo population control conference, had been mandated to prepare a document for the UN General Assembly this summer, but was unable to reach a consensus after six days of negotiations. The group is expected to resume its negotiations in May or June.
The UN had ordered the committee to produce a document based on the final Cairo statement without renegotiating its terms. But the United States and European Union members had introduced new proposals to reopen debate on abortion and contraception. Fighting this move was the Group of 77, an organization of 133 nations from the developing world, and the Holy See. A major component of the negotiations was an attempt to equate "reproductive rights" with human rights, according to the Catholic Family & Human Rights Initiative (CAFHRI).
"Just as the American laws on abortion were changed through the controversial discovery of a constitutional 'right to privacy,' UN feminists are attempting to insinuate into UN documents the equation of 'sexual and reproductive rights' with universal human rights," CAFHRI said in a statement. Other stumbling blocks in the program include adolescent "sexual and reproductive rights" and so-called "emergency contraception."
On the other hand, Cardinal Jaime Ortega and Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, presided over the Easter Vigil that was carried out in the square of the Cathedral of Havana and also the Easter Sunday celebration. These Masses also gathered hundreds of people who participated in the Eucharistic ceremony and celebrated the victory of the Lord Jesus over death.
CWN reported that It was the second time, after a similar ceremony last year, that the ceremony had been held in public since religious activities were ordered confined to church premises soon after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.
In his homily, the cardinal told the congregation that Christ had been mistaken in his own time for a political rebel against the ruling authorities, but that his real mission was salvation for all mankind. The statement may have been a reassurance for the Communist government which is wary of the Church taking a political role.