When we say the chaplet we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray with Jesus, through Jesus and in Jesus; we say “Eternal Father, I offer you the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
The chaplet is offered to the Father by us. Our offering is taken up to Jesus and by this we offer it with Christ, through Christ and in Christ.
The chaplet is a Eucharistic prayer because of what is going on during the Eucharist. From this altar we offer Our Father the holy sacrifice of His dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the dearly beloved son of the Father, and because he is the dearly beloved son, the Father cannot say no to his request.
The message of mercy, is the message of God’s unconditional love for each one of us. God loves us. There are some attributes of God - what is God like? We are reminded of the attributes of God in the chaplet; first of all God is holy and when we say the final prayers of the chaplet we say “Holy God, Holy mighty one, Holy immortal one”, we have reverence and kneel down for him.
Only when we discover the holiness of God will we be able to recognise our own sinfulness, because sometimes when we are far away from God we can say ‘I am perfect’ or ‘I am better than other people’. But when we approach a bright light we can discover something small and it appears as dirt in our souls; that is why the saints went to confession often. In the light of God’s holiness they were aware of their weakness and sins.
So many people say ‘I have no sins’, but this is untrue. It is like being in a dark basement, where initially we cannot see anything and yet after a while our eyes will become used to the dark, likewise it will be the same with the darkness which is sin. So when we approach God who is holy we will be aware of our sinfulness.
God’s second attribute is His omnipotence – this power is exercised so effortlessly. Because he is so almighty and powerful we become aware of this when we pray; when we pray we receive, because for God everything is possible. He can change people’s minds. He is omnipotent and that is why when we say the chaplet we say, “Mighty One, Holy God, Holy mighty one”. We trust, and we also trust that God will answer our prayer.
The third attribute – God is just. That is why we feel the remorse of conscience and we know that we are responsible for what we do, think and say. We are aware of it; that is why we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. At the same time we believe in God’s mercy. If God was only omnipotent and just, we would keep our distance and hide from Him. But God is love and He loves us. He loves us freely. Love does not need to be deserved, it is given freely. Justice needs to be deserved, we long for justice. God is above all merciful and loves us just as we are. If you had a very good mother you would understand, a mother’s love is unconditional. The love of God is unconditional, it will last forever.
While all the names of God are important in many ways, the name “Abba Father” is one of the most significant names of God in understanding how He relates to people. The word Abba is an Aramaic word that would most closely be translated as daddy or father.
When listening to a sermon on the Fatherhood of God, the illustration that when Jesus refers to his Father as Abba, it is a very comfortable, a deeply intimate child-like term, interpreted as either papa or daddy. Jesus uses the term once in Mark's gospel and Paul uses it two times in Romans and Galatians.
However, in explaining the word Abba in this way is to show us that Jesus had a very intimate relationship with his father, not stoic or merely positional. It is what a loving father has with his son and the son who lives securely and comfortably in that love. It is an important message. We also see this Father/Son intimacy at Jesus' baptism where the Father proclaims from heaven to us all his extravagant love in his Son. This intimacy and love between the divine Father and his Son is as true as the existence of God himself, for it is his very nature. When Jesus was teaching us how to pray the Our Father, he wanted us to be like children in the Holy Land and say ‘Abba, Abba’ because we are His children. He is our Father.
The most beautiful passage in the Bible says, “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus the Son of God became man.
Why? We do not have to lift our heads up, Jesus is here, He wanted to be one of us. He suffered and was betrayed by his friends, by Judas. Jesus needed a rest, He was sleeping in the boat. He was hungry, tired and thirsty, He wanted to share our earthly life in everything because He wanted to be close to us. But above all He died for you and me.
As a result, when I go to confession, His blood purifies my soul and I am forgiven and set free. He died for each one of us, for the whole world. We hear this passage during the Holy Mass “This is my body which will be given up for you and for all, so that sins maybe forgiven.”
In the diary of St Faustina; the throne of God’s mercy is not a sign of condemnation but a sign of justification and forgiveness.
Saint John Paul II through his actions and words said "Christ makes the Father present among men". In fact, with his lifestyle, Jesus Christ shows the presence, in the world in which we live, of the love that addresses itself to man and embraces all his humanity. "By becoming the incarnation of the love that is manifested with particular force with regard to the suffering, the unfortunate and sinners, makes present and thus more fully reveals the Father."
In the Divine Mercy image we see the wounds of Christ, Jesus wanted them to be visible. He said to St Faustina “If you not believe my words at least believe my wounds, if my death has not convinced you of my love, what will?”
Jesus, this is how God wanted to present mercy, He is presenting Jesus the one who died for us. Open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of God.
In the image of the Divine Mercy you see that Jesus is not standing, he is moving, approaching each one of us, he is taking a step forward. He wants to enter our lives. He has already entered it; we are touched by His love and mercy. How many sins has he forgiven you and me?
The diary of Saint Faustina has a section ‘The Divine Mercy in my soul’ it is the mystery of her life and the main area where we can see traces of Divine Mercy. She wrote, ‘Lord Jesus, we cannot imagine how much you love us, we open our hearts to you. That we never get discouraged. That you trust in us, that you want us to be with you forever. Lord Jesus heal us by your love and mercy, give us your peace and strengthen us. Jesus we do trust in you until the end of our lives, forever. Amen.’
The message of mercy is the message of God’s unconditional love for us.
Fr Peter Prusakiewicz CSMA
Talk in Thurles, Ireland
16 May 2015