National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Divine Mercy Indulgence and Ideas

User’s Guide to Sunday

BY Tom and April Hoopes

April 12-18, 2009 Issue | Posted 4/3/09 at 1:23 PM

 

Sunday, April 19, is the Second Sunday of Easter (Year B, Cycle I), Divine Mercy Sunday.


Parish

DivineMercySunday.com offers resources for parishes.

Pope John Paul II named the Second Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday, and the Church continues to celebrate it on that day.

The Holy See has decreed: “a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).” And also: “A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.”


Media

Screenit.com provides specific content advisories for parents.

Les Miserables is a story about the power of forgiveness. The story deals with prostitution and thus includes some material unsuitable for children. The best video version is the 1998 movie starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush. Find a kid-friendly audio version by googling “Les Miserables” and “Focus on the family.”


Readings

Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; First John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31


Our Take

NCRegister.com “Resources” provide helps for confession.

Divine Mercy Sunday is a good day to rededicate yourself to confession — and to promoting the sacrament. Here are the “7 Ways to Promote Confession” from a Register editorial:

1. Go regularly yourself. Our examples evangelize more than we know.

2. Bring your family — children, grandchildren or close nephews and nieces. Children need to go to confession, too. Many families make confession an outing, followed up with ice cream or coffee. Our website provides an examination of conscience for children. Click “Resources,” then “Confessional Guides.”

3. Mention it. There’s no reason we can’t tell people that we have gone to confession. Since confession is a significant event in our lives, it’s an appropriate answer to the question, “What did you do last weekend?”

4. Learn, and spread the knowledge. To find the Register’s own reader-friendly “How and Why to Go to Confession” guide at our website, click “Resources,” then “How to Be a Catholic Guides.”

5. Follow the Pope. Someone asked Pope Benedict XVI why we should go to confession regularly if we always seem to be confessing the same sins anyway. He answered, “It is true: Our sins are always the same, but we clean our homes, our rooms, at least once a week, even if the dirt is always the same; in order to live in cleanliness, in order to start again. Otherwise, the dirt might not be seen, but it builds up. Something similar can be said about the soul, for me myself. …. Confession is only necessary in the case of a serious sin, but it is very helpful to confess regularly in order to foster the cleanliness and beauty of the soul and to mature day by day in life.”

6. Children: Use your power. Children have led their families into all sorts of healthy practices, from recycling to quitting smoking. Many parents rediscover confession through their children.

7. Mention it as a kind of “excuse.” If someone invited you on a walk through mud, you’d say, “No thanks, I don’t want to have to clean my shoes and clothes.” When someone begins to engage in denigrating gossip or wants you to watch an objectionable movie, etc., you have the same answer: “No thanks. I would to have to figure out how to get to confession again before my regularly scheduled time!”