Mixing Divine Mercy spirituality with practical gu... Read more
At the Bedside (and at the Foot of the Cross)
In their continuing efforts to make Divine Mercy a way of life, the Marian Fathers have published a new booklet to incorporate Divine Mercy spirituality with a work of mercy in which we should all be engaged. At The Bedside of the Sick and Dying: A Guide for Parish Ministry, Family, and Friends was co-authored by Bryan Thatcher, MD, founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, and Kathleen Wabick, founder of the Disciples of Divine Mercy in the Holy Face of Jesus.
Doctor Thatcher sat down to discuss the booklet:
Why did you and Kathy decide to write this?
We want to share the power and best practices of praying at the bedside of the sick and dying. We wish to awaken souls to the reality of death and the truth of God's mercy and to help build up the Church by its members doing a great work of mercy for one another. Through St. Faustina, Jesus says, "Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties" — meaning, insistent prayers — "obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least" (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1777). Kathy and I both have a devotion to St. Faustina, through whom the Lord gave us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and as you know, Jesus attached many promises to those who pray the chaplet for the dying.
You have a sense of urgency regarding this book. Please explain.
As we say in the booklet, aside from the hour of our birth, the hour of death is the most important time in our life. It's the time when we will meet the Lord face to face and our eternal destiny will be determined. Meanwhile, we live in a world that diminishes the gift of life. As a society, we have a pharmaceutical mentality. We try to eliminate pain at all costs. We avoid visiting the dying as if they had a contagious disease. We have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude about the sick and dying, but the Lord is calling upon us to take responsibility for our loved ones, our friends, neighbors, and family at this medically and spiritually critical stage. More than 115,000 people die each day, and many of them don't know about Jesus
Who is the audience for this booklet?
Those wishing to establish a parish ministry of praying for the sick and dying as well as friends and family of the sick and dying.
The booklet also gives practical pointers beyond prayer itself.
Yes, we delve into ministering to the dying and their loved ones who may be experiencing emotions such as anger, regret, fear, and denial. This can be a demanding ministry. It's our hope that those who are dying and their friends and family will better understand through this ministry the need for a deeper conversion to God.