Works of Mercy

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That 3 a.m. Wake-Up Call

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By Jennifer Nelson

A 3 a.m. wake-up call in the form of a hungry baby. It had been the fifth day in a row that my daughter, Emmanuella, had woken up to feed at this very early hour. When she would wake up, I would turn on the TV or check my smartphone as I fed her back to sleep.

This had become my routine. After day five though, I was feeling run down. As I dragged my three children and baby Emmanuella to Mass in the morning, a good friend, Scott, asked if I was OK and said that I looked tired. I told him that my baby had this 3 a.m. waking thing and that it was starting to take its toll.

Knowing full well that the 3 o'clock hour is the Hour of Great Mercy, when Jesus died on the Cross, Scott said, "I guess someone needs you to be praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during the Hour of Mercy."

Wow! What a concept! Scott, a police officer, is a great man of prayer who would pray the Rosary during his overnight shifts. It was a Holy Spirit-inspired suggestion for sure! I took his advice and began praying the Chaplet every time Ella would wake me up to feed. It also became my go-to when I would wake up at that time for whatever reason. It put my mind at peace.

One evening, two years after this new "habit" began, I had a dream that I was trying to help a drug addict and a Satanist come to know and love Christ. In my dream they refused to listen. I was then awoken at 3:45 a.m. because my daughter was crying a bit, so I had to go calm her back to sleep. I prayed the Chaplet for the people who were struggling that night with drug addiction or the occult. When I fell back asleep, my dream continued, only now these men were dying, and I was with them at their bedside. I felt such peace when they passed, and in my dream, I said, "Jesus, I prayed the Chaplet for them. I trust in Your mercy." Then I woke up, and it was time to start a new day.

That morning I went on Facebook and asked people to consider praying the Chaplet when they're awoken at night by a child. A bunch of moms said, "I'm up at that hour with a child almost every night. I'm going to try this, too!"

The very next day, I received an email from a mom who said she had been up during the 3 o'clock hour because her child had thrown up. After tending to the child and putting her back to sleep, she prayed the Chaplet and went back to bed. She had a dream that she was watching a mom caring for a child who was about to die. She said she also had a great sense of peace that Jesus was with this mother and child. What a testament to the grace that comes from sacrificial prayer!

Mercy is found in many places. It is found in the sacrifice of a mother or father getting up to tend to a sick child. It is found in the caregivers who are aiding the dying as they take their last breaths. It is found in the glass of water to the thirsty, the clothing for the naked, the bread to the hungry, the shelter for the homeless, and the visit to the imprisoned.

Jesus presents us with so many opportunities to take our small sufferings and offer them for souls. Jesus said to St. Faustina, "By your prayers, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer" (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1777). If you find yourself waking up for whatever reason during the Hour of Mercy, take that 10 minutes to pray the Chaplet. Someone needs your prayers. Who needs a smartphone or infomercials when you can be helping to save souls!

Jennifer Nelson lives in Rockaway, New Jersey.

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Julie Murphy - Jul 12, 2018

What a great reminder of how the Holy Spirit prompts us. Almost every night I wake up several times and one of those times is always 3AM. I will pray the Chaplet at that time now.