Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Sunday, 28 April 2019

The fuss around Divine Mercy Sunday has to stop - especially for the "true traditionalists!"


Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, in the New Rite.

Last year, a post on this topic was posted on Vox Cantoris. In the comment section, I stated that I never got into the devotion, both because I never had a personal interest in it, and because I found the seeming hysteria around it a bit off-putting. (I am uneasy with elevated emotions and crowds.) I daresay I was thinking if you practiced the devotion you were not a "true" Catholic.

That was before I realized I was consorting with a group of people who were not interested in propelling me to authentic virtue, and were instead teaching me to set myself against everyone else in a way which fostered uncharity.

Since then, my hostility towards the Divine Mercy devotion has decreased dramatically.

I still harbor some questions about the humility of St. Faustina in writing her diary and the intentions of her spiritual director, Fr. Sopocko, in promoting the devotion so heavily almost immediately after learning about the visions. But that is what they are. Questions based on what I can read in the historical record. I am unable to read their souls and see things, how they actually were. That is God's province alone, and besides, they are dead now. I can only hope they are in a good place now.

Plus, there is a reason that it was banned in the first place, its original image heavily criticized, and its theology questionable. I also still hold those concerns, as they are part of the devotion's history. It is why I do not practice it.

But let me say this.

I don't care if you practice it or not.

You can practice the Divine Mercy chaplet and still be a "traditional" Catholic, much as I dislike using the term.

Or you can practice another devotion. There are a myriad of devotions out there. 

A fuss seems to be made out of the Divine Mercy devotion in particular, not only because of its history and its image, but because most "traditionalists" are melanholics to some degree, and melanholics resist any notion of mercy. It's a failing of the temperament: they fail to see the good in themselves, so they internalize the sense of God's judgement at the expense of His mercy

Moreover, people seem to presume that if you pray the Divine Mercy chaplet, you must think a certain way - ie. you get "a get out of jail free" card for purgatory, and have a really skewed sense of God's mercy at the expense of His judgement. There seems to be a sentiment that you're going to Hell, too, as you've got it all wrong regarding God's mercy. As I said, presumptive. Not to mention totally bone-headed.

This is my third time seeing the cacophony around Divine Mercy Sunday. Usually, they say the third time is the charm, but seeing it again has alerted me to the fact that perhaps people kick up such a fuss about it for the mere pleasure of saying they are the "true" Catholics.

Call me presumptive. I don't care.

No one is preserved from Hell because they practice a particular devotion. Just last night, in fact, I read that, per commentary made by St. Alphonsus Ligouri, one can commit mortal sins even while doing the Rosary or other devotions.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

People go to Hell because of the mortal sins they commit, not because of the devotion they practice. 

20 comments:

Barona said...

A huge problem is the translations into English. It is not sentimentalized by Polish Catholics I know, nor do they use the false Novena that has Our Lord "corrected" by modernist theologians. Is this not blasphemy?

I have the image up in my home, and I say the Divine Mercy every day. I will not impose it on any Catholic, as I do not have that right; just as I cannot impose the Rosary on a Catholic. However, the Divine Mercy is a Catholic prayer; just as the Rosary is.

If a Catholic tries to tell me to stop one or the other, then I know that Catholic has crossed from adherence to this or that official devotion, to taking upon themselves an authority they do nor have. When that happens, I shake the dust off my sandals. They have acted in a manner that is gravely perhaps suspect of heresy (not, I do not say heresy, but gravely suspect. Why? Because I do not have the authority to formally judge)

Barona said...

Unlike many of the self-declared "traditionalists" I have actually read St. Faustina's Diary, and I have taken note of her prophecies concerning evil, wayward churchmen. Every prophecy has been and is being fulfilled before our eyes.

The same reflects on what English speaking Catholics have been taught about the life and writings of St. Maximllian Kolbe. I can assure Catholics reading this blog, that if Fr. Maximillian were alive today he would BE SUSPENDED A DIVINIS for teaching Catholic doctrine undiluted, and for his powerful and uncompromising teaching of the Faith and confronting the enemies of the Gospels.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Barona... Translations for the international languages of authentic writings of saint Faustina where done far away from original words in Polish. Apparently in German, it is the same. Translations are changing words to sweet, over-holy, unrealistic language - in the style in Poly-Anna. This is so sad!

However, regarding the devotions, you are wrong! Divine Mercy Sunday has been requested by Jesus Himself! You might pass or be indifferent toward many devotions created by man, tradition, theologians and priests, but not these ones requested by Heaven, even if they upsets you.

If you do not believe in saint Faustina apparitions, it is better to keep silent than diminish devotions requested by God. Many, many people converted to God based on her writings, many sinners repented and came closer to God - including me.

So, please before we become the judge of God's ways, it is better to say: "Lord not my, but your Will be done"

Irenaeus said...

That's amazing, Anonymous. God bless you. I have heard similar stories.

I am not diminishing a devotion. I have noticed that this particular devotion is harped on by both sides of the fence, with a sort of disorganized frenzy, which is not healthy. Which led to what I wrote today. (However, as Barona has alluded to, this is probably because I am writing from a North American perspective, where things don't usually have a middle ground.)

People are welcome to practice whatsoever devotion they wish to practice. That's the beauty of devotions, the variety. I'm not telling people not to. But I am also not telling people they have to. After all, I don't have the authority.

Anonymous said...

I just posted this link over at David's Vox cantoris:

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2019/04/were-we-given-prophetic-warnings-about.html


Karl

Barona said...

One of the commenters over at Vox's post claims that it is "blasphemy" to recite the prayers from the Divine Mercy at a dying person's bedside. What is that "blasphemous prayer": Apparently it is this: "For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world". And who is to have mercy: The Father. Yet, according to this ignorant person, this is "blasphemy", And why is it blasphemy" Because the Hail Mary is not being said. One can only blaspheme God, not a creature, even the most exulted of creatures. One cannot blaspheme the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In fact, this confused person creates a false dichotomy. For if this person's logic were correct, we would abolish the Mass. Further, this person should realize the Rosary PRAYED correctly is Christocentric.

This is the kind of foolish talk, this foolish blasphemy, that plays into the hands of protestants.

Justina said...

My mother's last words to me on her deathbed were, "Pray unceasingly especially the Divine Mercy."

The devil will rail against it for its simplicity. Pray whatever chaplet you like or just say the rosary. You Faith matters. If you don't care so much for it, try the Sacred Heart or Infant of Prague. Don't put down those of us who have devotion to the Divine Mercy. That's uncharitable and its not like its a requirement.

Nandarani said...

Perhaps we need one person to agree with the original writer. I forget all the reasons, but research stuff pretty exhaustively and the devotion with its picture does not meet the test of authenticity. It just doesn't fit my taste but that's another matter! It seems to me to be weirdly too simple I do not believe it is a matter of language. Fr. Benedict Hughes has a article somewhere on the subject of this devotion I learned recently; haven't read it but it accords with the original writer's comment providing facts I forget, I am sure.

Picture? It has new age elements that mimic devotion to the Sacred Heart. Happen to be re-reading Fr. Croiset's book now!

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, there was a lot of "hysteria" over the Sacred Heart devotion. "Traditionalists" thought it was repulsive.

Anonymous said...

I dislike the image associated with this devotion.
It in my opinion it turns Christ into a cathode ray tube freak and something to be avoided.
Is it any wonder the image was heavily criticized.
In addition the image was promoted by a pope canonized under the regime of the formal heretic antipope Francis.
The Catholic Church is now splitting under the schism caused by this antipope.

Barona said...

"New Age"? Sr. Faustyna pre-dated that pagan movement by decades; she died in 1938. She had no dealings with earlier occult societies. Further, we do not need commentary from priests who are no longer Catholic, such as the aforementioned Benedict Hughes. This is a Catholic Blog. Sedevacantism is a very dangerous, false, liberal movement which has and will further seduce many ignorant Catholics.

Irenaeus said...

Francis is the Pope by virtue of the law, Anon at 9:09. Are you familiar with the idea of right by conquest? Even though it is highly possible (but we cannot prove it) that he gained the papal throne through subterfuge, the concept of right by conquest still prevails. He is the Pope now, whether we like it or not.

As to everything else, this is precisely what I was referring to in my writing. I personally have reservations about some of the things Sr. Faustina wrote about - such as the Host flying out of the tabernacle into her hands - but those reservations only affect me and my faith. If the Divine Mercy chaplet helps your prayer life, that's wonderful. If it does not, there are plenty of other devotions and prayers which you can turn to.

Emphasizing mercy is not an evil thing and of itself, and has a long history in our Faith. Sometimes we need to remember that, because when we focus solely on judgement, that's not healthy. It's the same the other way around.

When it comes to private revelation - which is precisely what the Divine Mercy devotion is, at the end of the day - we are free to believe what we like and leave others alone in that belief.

Barona said...

"Formal heretic"? In breaking with Francis, in declaring him to not be Pope, without any Authority to do so, this sad person has him/her/itself sinned mortally.

The combox for this Post is now CLOSED.


This blog will not be part of furthering heresy and schismatic attitudes. I suggest to all of us to go to Mass daily, pray a bit more and see if you can do charitable acts of mercy towards those around you.

mazara said...

I was put off the Divine Mercy Chaplet after reading negative articles online,but I have said it twice in the presence of relatives that were dying and it made a marked difference, they went from agitated to peaceful, and a priest was summoned to the bedside of one in spite of her immediate family opposing it. The prayers of the Chaplet are beautiful and a meditation on the Passion of Christ.

TLM said...

I myself find solace and comfort in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but besides saying the Chaplet, Our Lord told St. Faustina basically to just 'remember Him' in His passion at 3:00 pm. Even for just a minute to meditate on His passion or if time permitted to pray the Stations of the Cross. The idea I believe is that the Lord Jesus LOVES for His Passion to be honored by His children that He loves beyond measure. I see the entire concept as totally within Catholic thinking and worship. I don't pray the Chaplet daily, but I believe there is a place for it within Catholic meditation. And Oh, btw, I detest the term 'Traditional Catholic'. You are either a 'Catholic' or your NOT. Simple as that.

AliveThroughGrace said...

Per EWTN.com (*Note, especially, the last sentence):

This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." *These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.

https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/feast.htm

Anonymous said...

The Jesus Prayer is the earliest of Christian Psalters. "Jesus Christ , Son of God have Mercy on me a sinner...."
The thrice holy hymn..........
"Holy God Holy and Mighty ,Holy and immortal have mercy on us." straight from the Divine Liturgy of St john Chrysostom said in both the Catholic Eastern Rites and the Orthodox.
Pope JP2's mother was Orthodox, I believe most Poles know the Orthodox Eastern prayers.

Barona said...

Thank-you Anonymous 8:25. This just shows how incredibly uneducated and ignorant about our Catholic Faith so many are. Our "traditional" Latin going friends included.

Anonymous said...

Yes Baron , as a homeschooling mother who used a full service Catholic curriculum, we argued many of the religion teachers into the ground over the correct answers to tests.

Before he passed the Catholic Byzantine Archamandrite
( formerly a Jesuit) who was poly lingual , historian and taught Latin at the school, told me I was the ONLY catholic who believed and knew the most accurate history of the Church . He believed that the Church must be whole again to include both the East and the West as it was the first thousand years. Few Catholics know what politics and greed was involved in the so called "Great Schism".

Barona said...

God bless you homeschooling mother!! It is indeed a wonderful thing when a Catholic knows our religion. Conversely, it is a tragedy when so many do not. Even those who attend every Sunday. By not knowing our Faith, how can the Mass be lived in its integrity? Sadly, far too many Catholics, even those who attend the Latin Mass (no guarantee of sanctity). Far more important is the understanding of doctrine. St. Irenaeus, in the formative years of the Church, knew and taught pure doctrine. He knew, that knowledge of the Faith was essential to keep it pure and uncorrupted.