My Chicago Home

My Chicago Home
How can we best live as modern, active contemplatives where prairie meets city?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Second Sunday of Easter, Feast of Divine Mercy, and Beatification Day of JPII!

"In the midst of the assembly I will praise You"
Psalm 22:23
Happy Easter!
Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,

Let them His glory also show.
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Allelulia, alleluia, alleluia!
-- St. Francis of Assisi, 13th Century

Even city lots bloom forth and show His glory...
All creation, praise His Holy Name!

The Season of Easter, or Eastertide, lasts seven weeks, from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday.
Our neighbor's daffodils -- pristine 
and perfect.

We call ours "afrodils" for obvious reasons! Does
anyone know the official name for this variety?

Delicate sunset colors...

I love these pansies, given to me by friends,
for teaching a class.

"Just as the sun's rays in springtime cause the buds on the branches of the trees to sprout and open up, so the radiance that streams forth from Christ's resurrection gives strength and meaning to every human hope, to every expectation, wish and plan."  
-- Pope Benedict XVI, given on Easter Sunday, 2011, from the balcony at St. Peter's Basilica, during his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message.

"Those who seek the Lord shall praise Him:
'May your hearts be ever merry!'" Psalm 22:23

It's All About Mercy...
Since this is Divine Mercy Sunday, and the day on which Pope John Paul II will be beatified in Rome, I have a great, true story for you. Sixteen years ago, I joined a group from Chicago traveling to Rome to attend the Mass in which Monsignor Edward J. Slattery was elevated to Bishop. (He now serves the Tulsa, Oklahoma Diocese.) Our group was granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II. Amongst us was a judge who was greatly struggling with the idea of mercy as regards to her profession. Of course, the Holy Father had no human way of knowing this woman's struggles, but at some point during the audience he drew near, gazed intently into her eyes, and urged her to "Mercy, mercy, mercy." 

Pope John Paul II instituted the Second Sunday of Easter as "Divine Mercy Sunday," during the Mass of canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska on April 30, 2000, the year of the Great Jubilee. The Holy Father later died on the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy, six years ago. 
The bestselling diary of Saint Faustina tells how Jesus came to this nun in prayer, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. 
"I am sending you with My Mercy to the people of the whole world," Jesus told her. "I do not want to punish mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My merciful Heart..." 

Attending Divine Mercy devotions on this Second Sunday of Easter is an amazing way to renew one's faith and start fresh during this joyous season! Praise Him for His enduring mercy...

Photos (except book cover) by Marianna Bartholomew