Divine Mercy Sunday, With churches closed and Communion unavailable due to the conoravirus pandemic, can we still receive the it’s graces and promises.
“Even though churches are closed and you cannot go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, these special graces was recived yesterday April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday,” stresses Father Chris Alar of the Marian Father of the Immaculate Conception at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in print and video messages.
Remember, Jesus revealed the promise and its two conditions thorough St. Faustina: I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy (Diary, 1109).
I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open.
I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.
On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699).
“Jesus promises that the soul that’s been to Confession and receives Holy Communion will be completely wiped away of the two stains that are on our soul,” he said.
“The most special grace promised by our Lord for Mercy Sunday is nothing less than the equivalent of a complete renewal of baptismal grace in the soul: ‘complete forgiveness (remission) of sins and punishment.’”
Then to make this “official,” so to speak, John Paul II declared Divine Mercy Sunday a universal feast of the Church in 2002 and also attached a plenary indulgence to it which ties to the promise.
First there are the usual standard three conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff.
Next, the specific conditions or “work” required: “On 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, 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 (such as, ‘Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!’).”
Again, not to worry. Either way, you’ll get the promise and the indulgence, the forgiveness of sins and remission of all punishment.
Make an Act of Contrition.
Some parishes are able to make Confession available while others cannot. If you can’t get to Confession, Father Alar points out the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1451) states, “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place.
Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.’” You’ll thereby “be completely forgiven of all sins, even ‘mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible’ (Catechism, 1452).”
Make a Spiritual Communion.
Again, with churches not open, you can’t receive Communion. The answer? “Make a Spiritual Communion instead,” explains Father Alar, “asking God to come into your heart as if you received Him sacramentally Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.” (See one Spiritual Communion prayer below.)
He also makes clear to “do this act of trust with the intent to return to the sacrament of Holy Communion as soon as possible.”
Pray this or a similar prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, You promised St. Faustina that the soul that has been to Confession [I’m unable, but I made an Act of Contrition] and the soul that receives Holy Communion [I’m unable, but I made a Spiritual Communion] will receive the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment.
Please, Lord Jesus Christ, give me this grace.”
“There is no doubt, that Pope St. John Paul II was guided by the Holy Spirit when he established this, very, special plenary indulgence, with every possible provision, so that everyone can obtain the incredible gift of the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment,” writes Robert Allard, director of Apostles of Divine Mercy in Florida.