Confraternity of Penitents Monthly Newsletter -- April 2018
VISITOR’S VISION: “YOU TOO SHALL BE MY WITNESSES…” (Acts 1:8)
“Today, as never before, the Church has the opportunity of bringing the Gospel, by witness and word, to all people and nations. I see the dawning of a new missionary age, which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries…respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time” (Redemptoris missio, no.92).
This year, the first day of April, which is generally known as April Fool’s Day, happens to be a Sunday. This is not just any Sunday but the greatest one in the order of our spiritual and religious reality - Easter Sunday. Now, this is interesting, for I don’t know if it means that we are fools for believing in the Resurrection or if God was ‘a fool’ for allowing his Son who is without sin, to die for mere humans in other to bring salvation to the sinful humanity. Of course, for Jews who love miracles, this is foolish and offensive, while for Greeks who love wisdom, it is stupid and unthinkable, that God should die, not to talk of dying on the cross, the worst way to die (1 Cor 1:22-25). Well, this is an example of the humor of God. For the death and resurrection of Jesus was not based on human wisdom but on God’s power (cf. 1 Cor 2:5-9).
God humors us by giving us variety of experiences to keep us on our toes in anticipation of his great love that manifests in variety of ways and at various times and places. This message of love is of great importance, as St Paul said: “I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4). Thus, Easter is a great feast for it tells the message of the love of God manifest in its greatest and purest form; for as Jesus said, the greatest act of love is that one dies for a friend (Jn 15:13 ).
Easter then, is the celebration of God’s love that continued to manifest in Jesus since Jesus’ story did not end with his death but continued with his resurrection. And this story of love continues with our witnessing to it, we who are the adopted sons and daughters of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Hence, after he rose from death and was about to ascend into heaven, he instructed the apostles and disciples to witness (cf. Act 1:6-9). So, allow me to reflect this month on that last instruction of Jesus to his apostles at his final meeting with them after his resurrection, before he ascended to his Father. Now, what do we mean here by witnessing?
St. John Paul II noted in his Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris missio, that witnessing is the first form of Christian mission, given to the Church. He said: “The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission: Christ, whose mission we continue, is the 'witness' par excellence (Rv 1:5; 3:14) and the model of all Christian witness” (R M, 42). In other words witnessing is telling the Good News of the Risen Lord, to build up a living and saving faith, as St Paul recognized when he said: “… now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it-—unless it was for nothing that you believed” (1 Cor 15:1-2). Thus, witnessing is the task performed by the believers who are those sent (apostles) after they have graduated as disciples (those that have learnt from the school of the Lord). St. Peter communicated this very message to the Council when he told them that the apostles could not obey the Council’s order, “…For we cannot stop speaking of what we ourselves have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).
One witnesses to what one has experienced, and this is why our reflection here is mainly concerned with the witnessing of the individual Christian. As we know: “…missionary activity, which is carried out in a wide variety of ways, is the task of all the Christian faithful” (R M, 71). This is because it is their right and duty based on their baptismal dignity, which necessitates that "the faithful participate, for their part, in the threefold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King” (Christifideles Laici, 14).
Now, because each individual Christian is a unique individual, this witnessing is carried out with all that makes up that unique individual personality: vocations, circumstances, opportunities, brokenness, personal Christian outlook, etc. Nevertheless, this individual Christian witnessing cannot be very different from the universal mission of the Church, which is articulated in many documents of the Church like the Decree on Missionary Activity, Ad Gentes (Vat II, Dec 7, 1965), Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi (Paul VI, pp., Dec 8, 1975), Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici (John Paul II, pp., Dec 30, 1988), Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris Missio, (John Paul II, pp., Dec 7, 1990). These all resonate the mission and model of love and compassion. However, there is always the simple model of the apostles and the early Christians. We see an example of this in St Paul's exhortation: “Be wise in the way you act toward those who are not believers, making good use of every opportunity you have. Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone” (Col 4:5-6), as an associate of Jesus Christ.
Now, witnessing is not without some obstacles. This is because witnessing is about the Good News of Jesus to the self, family, friends, community, coworkers, acquaintances, people we encounter, and those we have never even seen. This sort of witnessing is in line with the instruction of Jesus to the apostles: “…you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We must not lose sight of the fact that the evil one would like to prevent the good news; hence, we should expect some obstacles to witnessing which includes being sent from somewhere to anywhere. This is in line with Jesus’ sending of the 12 (Mt 10:1-5; Lk 9:1-6), sending of the 72 (Lk 10:1-12), giving the mission mandate (Mt 28:18-20), sending on mission of Barnabas and Paul (Acts 13:1-3), and so on.
In a deep personal way, the witness is sent from one’s comfort zone (from the self) to other (others) uncomfortable zones, since the message of the love of God needs to get to everyone, wherever people are found. This is a struggle, especially when the glory goes to another in the end. It is not easy to accept that it is the mission of another, and not our mission, so we cannot preach ourselves. Equally, people will try to stop the witnessing by ordering that the witness not speak or act in the name of Jesus (cf. Acts 4:18). All this points to the suffering that is associated with witnessing, which St Paul acknowledged when he urged Timothy, “Do not be ashamed, then, of witnessing for our Lord...Instead, take your part in suffering for the Good News, as God gives you the strength for it…God has appointed me as an apostle and teacher to proclaim the Good News and it is for this reason that I suffer these things. But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me” (2 Tim 1:8-12).
In other words, we must never lose sight of the power for witnessing, which comes from God, in spite of the challenges and obstacles. The power for mission and to witness is the name of the Risen Lord (cf. Acts 4:7&10). As we recall, to graduate, the apostles needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be able to witness to the Risen Lord (cf. Jn 15:26-27). Precisely, Jesus instructed them to wait until they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4), and. after the Pentecost event, they were on fire for the Lord, to the extent that the people were saying that they were filled with new wine (Acts 2:13). Again, we read that Peter was full of the Holy Spirit before he could witness to the people (Acts 4:8). Thus, as “the Holy Spirit accompanies the Church along her way and associates her with the witness he gives to Christ (cf. Jn 15:26-27)” (R M, 42), so as the Helper, he helps the witness remember what Jesus has taught (Jn 14:26). St Paul would say: “… to this very day I have been helped by God, and so I stand here giving my witness to all, to small and great alike. What I say is the very same thing which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen: that the Messiah must suffer and be the first one to rise from death, to announce the light of salvation to the Jews and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23).
In other words, by virtue of our baptism, there is a special bond created with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, which then makes each of us the recipient of the call to witness to what we have encountered. However, there is still the continued preparation, formation and growth that are required for effectiveness and efficiency in our witness. This comes from constantly going back to the source of the mission, maintaining a daily intimate union with him, not in an academic way since no academic qualification is needed, but by simply being an associate/companion of Jesus (Acts 4:13).
In conclusion, the vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God, and this vocation takes a personal form when we recall that each of us is called to manifest this image, assist others to manifest the same image of God, and then enter the presence of God (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.1877). This is witnessing, a task that is possible only through the grace of God. So we must be persistent in prayers, in order to be alert to the task and to the different opportunities that are open for us to witness in a way that makes the message clear and interesting to another (cf. Col 4:2-4). Let us remember that there is always need for the interior renewal of faith and Christian life on the part of the witness, in order for our witnessing to continue to renew the Church and revitalize faith and Christian identity, for faith is strengthened when it is given to others convincingly (cf. R M, 2). Today, as never before, people all over the world will put more trust in witnesses than in mere teachers (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41). -- CFP Visitor, Fr. Francis Chukwuma
NO GREATER LOVE: PRAYER AND CONFESSION
The Liturgy of the Church is intimately bound up with prayer, and our prayer is intimately bound up with the Liturgy. What about the rest of our life? Theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, in his book Prayer, explains for us the connection between our life in the Church and our life in the world, especially our moral life. In contemplation, therefore, we have found the link which joins the two halves of Christian existence -- the "work of God" in the realm of the Church and the work of man in the everyday world - -into a firm unity. Contemplation binds the two together in a single liturgy which is both sacred and secular, ecclesial and cosmic. Without contemplation it would scarcely be possible to unite the two, for the simple reason that, practically and psychologically, the effect of the Church's liturgy fades as the day proceeds, and the world's work is for the most part remote from it. Some link is necessary if they are to be drawn together in a lived, spiritual unity. In contemplation, however, liturgy becomes Spirit, and this Spirit can become incarnate in everyday life. In some way or other, of course, this is what happens necessarily in every authentic Christian life: anyone who assists at Mass with devotion and knows what he is doing when he receives communion is bound to pay attention to the spiritual meaning of the celebration and its offer to refashion the Christian's everyday life. And the more deliberately he thus "pays attention", the better the two parts fit together - -the supernatural form which comes down from eternity, and the matter of everyday life in the world. Those who attempt to join the two without contemplation either take the sacramental principle to extremes and improperly expect it to yield quasi-magical effects, or else they sacralize worldly affairs in a completely exaggerated way, constructing a theology of earthly realities and reckoning the office, technology, comfort, the state and secular culture among the factors which go to build up and bring about the kingdom of God. (The latter often occurs nowadays, particularly in those spiritualities which have a false view of contemplation.)
While these words by Von Balthasar were written in the 1950’s, the concept that by making the world a better place (according to our own very shifting and variable concepts and programs), we are serving God and building up the Kingdom of God has gained great strength in the US and elsewhere among Christian clergy, religious and laity. Yet, how is it possible to serve God and know God’s will without an intimate prayer relationship with Him? God’s Word certainly is not a blueprint for building a just and perfect society. Jesus Christ did not tell us how build a wonderful Christian society. He did tell us how to have an intimate relationship with Him so the we can do God’s Will in the world. Our task is to know God and His Will through his Word so that we can do His Will in the world.
While our prayer life is essential to our life in the world in general, Von Balthasar also tells us how our prayer life is essential to our moral life. The person who is sent forth, having heard the word, to take up his work, is a purified person. As the word itself says: "You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you" Jn 15:3). Again, there is nothing automatic about this: it is a purity effected in the hearer by the word. If a man opens himself to the light, the light pours into him; it reveals his darkness and changes it into brightness. "When anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is (itself) light" (Eph 5: 13). This process is also part of liturgy: contemplation is connected with penance. In the sacramental confession of sins, I submit myself to the judgment of God's word: it is not only that God is in the right and I am in the wrong, but I recognize my sinfulness in the light of the word addressed to me, which judges me and, in doing so, justifies and sanctifies me. But all contemplation involves this element of acknowledging God's right over me. "You are right, you are my righteousness; wherever I have failed to acknowledge this, I was in the wrong." In order to make this admission, the penitent needs at least an inchoate insight into what this "right" is and means. If he is to make his acknowledgment, he needs this prior recognition. He may not simply consult his own sense of moral equilibrium and read off the divine law from it: his conscience needs at least to be illuminated by the grace of the God who reveals himself. But as a Christian his conscience has been definitively shaped by the word of God in history and fashioned into an organ capable of hearing this word. Thus, however implicitly, however undeveloped at the level of logic, my conscience just knows that God is the Truth, that he has spoken this truth to me in his Son. Furthermore, he himself entrusted the truth of the Son to the Church. The believer, confessing his sins to the Church, submits to Christian truth. This truth avails for him, now that he has confessed his wrongdoing, and it will go on doing so as he continually submits his life to it. Resolving to submit to the truth, he simply must contemplate it. He must concentrate upon it and place his life at the precise spot where its light will strike it, the exact place indicated by the truth. He must direct his gaze to God's truth, not only in order to understand and confess his sins in the first place, but equally in order to make resolutions with regard to the future.
These words of theologian Von Balthasar point out to us why so many Catholics do not “understand” the Word of God as given to us by the Church over the centuries concerning sexual morality such as abortion, contraception, fornication, marriage, divorce, and so forth. The Church’s teaching is not just the arbitrary pronouncements of old men. It is the fruit of much prayer on the Word of God and especially the Word made flesh since the first Christian centuries. To understand the Church’s teachings, we must pray on these teachings. Of course, we do this not for the sake of deciding what applies to us and what does not, but to understand what God has said to the Church and to us and to make it our own. God’s Truth has to be at one with us or else it looks like some outside power coming down to oppress us.
This looking at God’s Truth with relationship to ourselves can be very unpleasant. When we see who we really are, we can start to get a sense of God’s absence and even His withdrawal from us. Hans Urs Von Balthasar discusses this briefly, but also gives us a word of hope on this matter. ……the "dark night of the soul", the contemplative way of purification, is only a gradually intensified training, in which this contemplative experience of confession is branded increasingly deeply and painfully upon the soul. Thus the "dark nights of the soul" are also part of the liturgy; they are existential confessions in which, it may be, the darkness is so profound that the vastness of the Church and the heavenly court can scarcely be made out; yet the silent, praying assistance of the communion of saints, both here and above, is never lacking.
We cannot carry out our relationship with God alone. We need His Grace. When it appears that we do not have the strength to do His Will, He comes to our aid. Theologian Von Balthasar tells us more of what God has done for us. This is something the Christian contemplative must be aware of. Then he will not see his life in the world, subject to the law of the word which he contemplates, as offering a constant threat of further impurity. Instead he will know that he is borne along and held upright by the word of God; he will know that, just as this Word nourishes him as the Bread of Heaven, so too, as the word of absolution, it purifies and absolves him. He needs this assurance because he can never measure up to the immense demands made of him. God will always have to supply the substance, the greater part; He will always have to support him in his inability, his failure, and overlook his penchant for slipping back; He will look at man's feeble goodness in the light of the Son's perfect goodness. This, then, is the state of the redeemed in this world. It is meant to spur him on to simple gratitude to his divine Savior, not to dialectical speculation. We can never forget what Jesus Christ did for us by dying on the Cross. It is possible for us to be “justified” before God even as we see how unjust we really are. The world also hungers for this justification but unfortunately seeks to obtain it without God. – Jim Nugent, CFP
HUMOR: TIPS FOR LIVING
If you open it, close it. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you unlock it, lock it. If you break it, admit it. If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can. If you borrow it, return it. If you value it, take care of it. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you move it, put it back. If it belongs to someone else, get permission to use it. If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone. If it’s none of your business, don’t ask questions.
WISDOM FROM VARIOUS PASTORS
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark, but a large group of professionals built the Titanic. -- Man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks --- he is. --- Believers do not need or seek man’s approval when they have God’s approval. If you wait for man’s approval, there are millions of people and you will never do anything. Even the one closest to you can destroy a journey before it starts. -- The devil is the author of confusion. -- Put hand to plough and don’t look back. -- Don’t mock the Lord your God. -- Don’t be someone God has to endure. Get serious with God. We make resolves then we don’t keep them. -- Don’t complain at what God sends, because God counts this as judgement of what He does
CONFRATERNITY OF PENITENTS PHOTO ALBUM: DIFFERENT SEASONS, DIFFERENT GUESTS
CFP postulant Lisa Jourdan, hailing from the state of Washington, USA, visits the Confraternity of Penitents in Fort Wayne, Indiana, during Lent 2018. She is shown here with Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP, who is sporting a cast on her wrist, broken after slipping on the ice on February 13.
Life pledged CFP member Mariah Dragolich visits the CFP administrative headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, during the summer, 2017. She brought along her husband and some of their children.
REFLECTION ON THE RULE: PROPERTY
Any equipment, property, or other assets purchased by the CFP, either internationally, regionally, or locally, for use by and in the Confraternity, remain the property of the CFP entity (International Council, Regional Council, Chapter or Circle Council) which purchased them.
This straightforward section of the Constitutions protects the Confraternity of Penitents from anyone who has made a donation to the CFP to purchase something in particular from claiming that the item purchased belongs to the individual and not to the Confraternity. If a donation is made to the Confraternity, then any item purchased with that donation also belongs to the Confraternity. Moreover, the item belongs to the Confraternity entity that purchased it. For example, the international Council cannot claim for its own an exhibit that was purchased by a local CFP Chapter. The Chapter may wish to donate the exhibit to the international Council of the Confraternity of Penitents, but the Council has no right to the exhibit simply because the Council is above the local Chapter in rank.
FOLLOWING FRANCIS, FOLLOWING CHRIST: GRATITUDE TO GOD
St. Francis was one of the most grateful of saints. His prayers and his reaction to incidents in his life indicate that Francis was a man with a grateful heart. Saintly people are those with grateful hearts. At our recent visit to Tabor Monastery, Preston, (Or ‘Priest Town’ as it was once called), we had a day of learning about St Theresa of Liseux. One prominent aspect of her relationship with Jesus was that Gratitude was a constant thought through her day. The speaker commented that the words “gratitude” and “grace” come from the same root word. He then mentioned how we all know about Grace before and after meals, but his follow-on from that was something I hadn’t really thought about.
He pointed out that offering grace isn’t just about meals but should also be thought about before or after other events. His examples brought some smiles from the gathering. What about grace before and after ‘swimming’ or ‘tennis’ or ‘running’ or ‘work’? How about before or after the use of your ‘Ipad’ or ‘Iphone’ or ‘laptop’? Maybe even before and after watching TV or DVDs etc.
St Theresa claimed that when gratitude becomes part of your life, you find increasingly more for which you can be grateful. It reminded me of Merlin Carothers’ books about praising God for all conditions, no matter if we judge them good or bad. Praise, even in adverse conditions, can reap miraculous changes.
I well remember a wonderful old priest in British Columbia, Canada. It was said of him that he was the only white man who was welcome on Indian reservations. One day on a ‘people only’ ferry to one of the islands to visit the Indians, it was a very stormy day. As the boat drew alongside the jetty, and just as the priest was stepping from the boat, a sudden swell rocked the boat away and Monsignor Bradley went SPLASH into ice-y water between boat and shore. He wore a cape over his shoulders and chest, and when the boat man looked down at him in the water, the cape was full of air and swelled up all around him. All that could be seen in the center of it was the cherubic face of Monsignor. In the freezing water, his rescuers saw his pink cherubic face looking up at them with a beautiful, big smile on his face as he repeated over and over again, “Thank You and Praise you, my loving Lord Jesus for this unexpected event, which I offer to you with such gratitude and love”. He was ecstatic. Years later, big, tough longshoremen and loggers would repeat this story in total unbelief of his gracious acceptance of this very unlovely happening.
St. Francis would have understood Monsignor’s joy. Below is a section of the Praises of God which St. Francis wrote:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was and who is to come. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Worthy art Thou, O Lord, our God, to receive praise, glory and honor, and benediction. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor and benediction. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Let us bless the Father and the Son with the Holy Ghost. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Give praise to God, all ye His servants and you that fear Him, little and great. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Let the heavens and the earth praise Him, the Glorious, and every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth, in the seas and all that are in them. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen. Let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Almighty, most holy, most high, and supreme God, highest good, all good, wholly good, who alone art good. To Thee we render all praise, all glory, all thanks, all honor, all blessing, and we shall always refer all good to Thee. Amen.
--David Curry, CFP Affiliate with Praises of St. Francis of Assisi
MONTHLY LETTER TO ALL PENITENTS: DIVINE MERCY
Divine Mercy Sunday occurs on the first Sunday after Easter. On this day, Christ’s Mercy is celebrated and praised. In her Diary, St. Faustina Kowalska, the saint who received the revelations from Christ on his Divine Mercy, records following in her diary (the numbers indicate the sections of the diary):
“My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy” (699). “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” (1109). “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment “ (300). “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” (699). “Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy" (742). "The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive" (1578). Worthily receiving the Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday is sufficient to obtain the extraordinary graces promised by Jesus.
Pope John Paul II also granted a plenary indulgence for the devout observance of the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). The Decree of the Holy See grants:
"A plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or 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 honour of Divine Mercy, or who, 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 (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in You!)..."
Unlike the solemnities of Christmas or Easter or St. Joseph’s day, for example, which are attached to certain days in the year, the recognition of God’s Divine Mercy is always timely. Trust in Divine Mercy was not meant to be reserved for one Sunday out of the year but, rather, to be always sought because people are always in need of God’s mercy. A special prayer for mercy is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Jesus promised many graces to those who recite and promote the chaplet. St. Faustina was instructed by the Lord, “My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet”. (1541) “I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.” (687) “This prayer will serve to appease My wrath.” (476) “Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy.” (687) “When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (1541).
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a critical prayer to assist the dying. "The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death."(754) "Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet. At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son."(811)
The Feast of Divine Mercy always reminds us that we are to promote devotion to God’s mercy and to show mercy to others. Our CFP way of life gives us many examples on how to show mercy to others. As our personal apostolate, we are directed to take up one or more of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. These include everything from praying for the living and the dead (which certainly could include praying for them the Chaplet of Divine Mercy), consoling others (which certainly can include encouraging them to turn to God’s mercy and love when they feel unforgiven or discouraged), instructing the ignorant and admonishing sinners (which can include reminding them of all that Jesus taught about his mercy and how he showed us his mercy and action by his passion and death), and burying the dead (which should include praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the deceased). For a penitent, mercy is extended and received every day. -- Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP
DIVINE MERCY PRODUCTS FROM THE CFP HOLY ANGELS GIFT SHOP
The CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop offers many different products featuring the image of Divine Mercy. See cfpholyangels.com or contact us at 1702 Lumbard Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46803 USA. Purchases from the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop support the Confraternity of Penitents in its mission to spread the message of penance (conversion) worldwide. God bless you for your support!