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"Ocean of graces" poured out for all

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Between Us
How I celebrate Mercy Sunday

A Helper and a Marian share on a topic of mutual interest.

For me, celebrating Mercy Sunday means receiving Jesus in Holy Communion and then adoring my Eucharistic Lord. It also gives me the wonderful opportunity to see people return to Jesus in the Sacraments.

Every year since 1994, we have celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday in my parish of St. Mary's, which is in the Archdiocese of Miami. And then on September 8, 1995, we started Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Mary's, so we could adore Our Lord and ask for His mercy 24 hours a day.

It's no coincidence, then, that our adoration chapel is named Chapel of The Divine Mercy. It's really the fruit of the graces we have received as a parish.

I remember that when we were first starting adoration in the parish, I was blessed with a strong sense of St. Faustina's presence whenever I made a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament. No wonder her full religious name is St. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I really believe that she, along with our heavenly Mother, was leading us to Perpetual Adoration of the Merciful Savior.

Our sacramental focus on Mercy Sunday has also led to conversions. One year, during our celebration, we saw a woman there with tears in her eyes. She had been away from the Church for many years.

Our pastor, Fr. Gerald McGrath, had placed an ad in the local newspaper inviting people to come back to the Catholic Church on Mercy Sunday. The woman said the invitation caught her attention and that we should do it more often. That day, she went to confession and received Holy Communion for the first time in 24 years.

The miracle of the Eucharist and the miracle of changed hearts and lives is what makes Mercy Sunday so special to me.

Rose Sanchez leads a busy life as a realtor* for Century 21 Keys, Inc. in Key West, FL, yet spending time with Jesus remains priority number one.

I celebrate Mercy Sunday by confessing my sins, communing with Jesus, and rejoicing in my heart.

Confession. I bathe my sins in the water of mercy. Jesus immerses my soul in His spiritual bath. Divine Mercy washes away my sins. When the priest pronounces the sacred words, "I absolve you of your sins," Divine Mercy floods my soul.

Every year before the Feast of Divine Mercy, I place my trust one more time in God's mercy. And every year, I come out of the confessional rejoicing, "Behold! The mercy of God conquered my sins again!"

Communion. I receive the Body and Blood of The Divine Mercy on this special feast. The Eucharistic Heart of Mercy pours itself out for me. I am given new life through the Eucharist.

Last year, God gave me a special sense of this new life at the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration in Stockbridge, MA. During Mass, I served as an acolyte. My duty was to consume all the remaining Precious Blood. It was a spiritual banquet, as there were about ten to fifteen chalices. God allowed me to drink of His mercy over and over again! Fortunately, I had eaten a good breakfast before the Eucharistic fast!

It was as if the divine floodgates had opened up for me. Mercy had saturated my soul and body. God gave me a special gift of His presence that day, which I will always treasure.

Singing. I celebrate the Great Day of Mercy with song. Saint Faustina writes in her Diary,"The Mercy of the Lord, I will sing forever!" (Diary,522). This is my day to rejoice in the graces that I have been given. What better way can I express joy than through song that comes straight from my heart?

So, I leave Mercy Sunday refreshed and joyful! I leave healed and cleansed!

Br. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, was just ordained a transitional deacon on Jan. 5. He looks forward to serving as a deacon at the altar this Mercy Sunday.

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