Divine Mercy Novena: A Good Friday tradition

A photo of the empty Chapel of the Divine Mercy, near the end of its construction cycle. It is a vitally important place for Roman Catholics during such times as the Divine Mercy Novena.

Chapel of the Divine Mercy will no doubt be full for Divine Mercy Novena. (Photo: Wikipedia)

As Easter weekend comes, so do the ancient traditions of those who profess religious faith – and today, Good Friday, brings the Divine Mercy Novena of the Roman Catholic faith. For those of you unfamiliar with the meaning of “novena,” WordNet defines it as “a Roman Catholic devotion consisting of prayers on nine consecutive days.” Roman Catholics believe that the Divine Mercy Novena was mandated by Jesus, who told St. Faustina that the special nine days of prayer would begin on Good Friday. Each day, prayers are to be dedicated to a specific group of souls. The last day, according to CatholicFire, is “the most difficult of all,” in that prayers are to be made for “the lukewarm and indifferent,” those who are said to cause Jesus “more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives.” Keep in mind, this would have been long before payday loans.

Divine Mercy Novena: For what are Catholics praying?

“On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls,” Jesus is reputed to have told St. Faustina. Here is a list of the daily Divine Mercy Novena prayers for Roman Catholics:

  1. Good Friday – Pray for all humankind, with a particular focus on those who have sinned. This should include the souls of priests who contributed to the recent Catholic Church sex scandals, both participants and those who swept the information under the rug or did little or nothing to aid traumatized children.
  2. Holy Saturday – Roman Catholics should pray for “the souls of priests and religious.” See No. 1, above.
  3. Easter Sunday – Prayer for “all devout and faithful souls,” writes CatholicFire. See No. 1; some of the Roman Catholic faith might argue that those involved in the scandal are no longer “faithful.”
  4. Easter Monday – Pray for those who don’t know/don’t believe in Jesus.
  5. Easter Tuesday – A day of prayer for “the souls of separated brethren.” This former Catholic who writes for Penn State’s student newspaper would fall into this category, but he may not care all that much to listen.
  6. Easter Wednesday – Prayer for “the meek and humble souls and the souls of children.” Certain Roman Catholics need to spend extra time here; see No. 1
  7. Easter Thursday – The souls of those who go the extra mile to honor the mercy of Jesus.
  8. Easter Friday – Those souls in purgatory receive prayers on this day.
  9. Easter Saturday – Those souls who have “become lukewarm” receive prayer honors on this final day of Divine Mercy Novena.

Roman Catholics would like a nice Divine Mercy Novena

Unfortunately, the Vatican’s stance on the recent priest sex scandals may make that impossible. While it is most unfair to blame the many parishioners for the actions of a few, the actions of the Vatican have fairly drawn the ire of society. If the Vatican truly believes as Jesus does that children are the model of peaceful innocence, then they will take immediate action that is in the best interests of such children. Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzenberger) is defended by some cardinals for protecting the Vatican’s reputation, but there are laws in place on this planet for how to deal with those who would harm children. Following the law would be the first step toward aiding those Jesus favored so much, and it appears the Roman Catholic Church may be headed in that direction, but more must be done. If it means a need for a money lender or two to help settle lawsuits, let it be said.

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