MOMM's flagship presentation: This film brings the... Read more
Photo: Felix Carroll
Dave and Joan Maroney, during a television interview this week in Los Angeles, where they spoke of the power of prayer and the message of Divine Mercy.
Traveling the country through a veritable fusillade of presidential politics and economic anxiety, Dave and Joan Maroney, known as Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), are advocating for the best prescription available to treat an ailing nation: prayer.
"We're calling for an all-out prayer blitz," says Dave.
That means all of us, each day, getting on our knees and spending extra time praying to God for mercy and wisdom for our nation and ourselves.
MOMM has traveled more than 250,000 miles in nine years bringing their dramatic Divine Mercy presentations to churches, schools, and prisons. In a phone interview from their RV somewhere on a highway outside of Los Angeles this week, the Maroneys said they've never seen the nation at such a state of unease as it is today.
Indeed, people are losing their homes to foreclosure at a record rate — more than 750,000 homeowners since July alone. Government officials now expect one of the sharpest recessions since the Great Depression. Another presidential election approaches with the nation again spilt divisively down the middle on issues such as abortion, war, and economic policy.
"The slogan this election cycle is 'Change. We need change,'" notes Joan.
"But this change, first and foremost, has to come within us, within our own hearts," says Dave. "Christ is the only means for finding hope and healing."
"We need to change the way we respond to people," says Joan. "We need to change in terms of having greater trust in God and His commandments and having faith and confidence in the Church. I keep telling people that God is older than us, bigger than us, and wiser than us. We don't always understand His ways. But we have to respond with humility, like a child.
"As we travel the country and we see all the difficulties people are having with marriages, with finances, with addictions, you name it, the answer is: greater allegiance to the Church," says Joan.
"And looking upon your neighbor and helping those in need," says Dave.
"If we love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and we love our neighbor as ourselves," says Joan, "that's what changes everything. The problem is, it's not easy to do, right? It can be hard to love God because we blame Him for everything. Or it's hard to love our neighbor because of any number of reasons.
"But this is where the message of Divine Mercy comes into play," says Joan. "Jesus teaches us that through the sacraments, through our prayers, through the Image of The Divine Mercy, people's hearts are changed and they are given insights they need. You become tuned in to the needs of others. You learn to act. Even if a given problem doesn't resolve itself the way we want it to, we find a peace. By means of this peace, we're willing to accept certain problems and struggles, and we can be assured that if this is the path that the Lord wants us to take, He'll give us the means and the strength to walk down it and He'll make it clear later why we had to go through that struggle or trial."
Joan continued, "We have to remember what Jesus told St. Faustina: 'There is but one price at which souls are bought and that is suffering united to my suffering on the cross'" (Diary of St. Faustina, 324). "Suffering comes in many forms. We go through mental anguish, struggles with our kids and in our marriages, the pressures of our jobs, and physical ailments. We need to take those sufferings and unite them to the Lord.
"The change we need is that people need to rely on God for their strength, pray more, come to Him in the sacraments," says Joan. "One Diary quote we often share with people is when Jesus tells St. Faustina, 'But understand that the strength by which you bear suffering comes from frequent Communions' (1487). And also in Diary entry 1448, Jesus goes so far as to tell St. Faustina that in the Sacrament of Reconciliation 'the greatest miracles take place, and are incessantly repeated.' Well come on, then — go to confession!"
Dave and Joan say they are heartened by the many people they meet on the road who have taken the message of Divine Mercy to heart.
"Yes, there's a tenseness out here," says Joan, "but the beautiful thing we see from the people who are coming to our programs is that they're putting it into God's hands."
"The other thing we hear from people is a realization that many of us in the United States have been living way beyond our means, and that needs to change," says Dave.
"One of the priests we've met recently told us the economy is not the issue," says Joan. "It's broken and we need to fix it, but life itself is the issue. It's true, and if we don't respect life and the most vulnerable and reach out, nothing else is going to matter. The change has to be respect for life — all life, from conception to natural death.
"Then other things will fall into place," adds Dave.
May we all heed the advice of Dave and Joan. May we continue to pray "Jesus, I trust in You" and make those words an integral part of who we are. The more we pray and receive the sacraments, the more Christ lives in us; the more our minds are illuminated; the more our hearts are illuminated; the more peace we have; the more we're able to forgive others; and the more joy we'll experience.
Remember also that we have a very powerful motto in our country: "In God We Trust." May this be our solid and firm foundation!
MOMM is an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. You may schedule a MOMM program in your area by calling 830-634-7765. Or you may purchase any one of their DVDs, including "Tell All Souls About My Mercy" or "Divine Mercy for Young Hearts".