"In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart." (1588)
"It's a sign for the end of times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (848) Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the doors of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the doors of My mercy must pass through the doors of My justice..." (1146)
The task of "proclaiming and introducing into life" the mystery of God's mercy, and imploring that mercy for the world, which the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II places before the entire Church, was entrusted to Saint Faustina as her life's witness and mission. From her childhood, Sister Faustina, desired to become a great saint, and she consistently strove toward that goal, working together with Jesus for the salvation of lost souls, even to the extent of offering her life as a sacrifice for sinners. Therefore, her life as a religious was marked with the stigma of suffering, but also with extraordinary mistical graces.
The mission of Saint Faustina consists in:
- reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God towards every human being, even the greatest sinner;
- conveying new forms of devotion to Divine Mercy;
- initiating a great movement of devotes and apostles of Divine Mercy who would lead people toward the renewal of Christian life in the spirit of this devotion; in other words, in the evangelical spirit of a childlike confidence in God and an active love of neighbor.
It was Saint Faustina's entire life and mission that inspired the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy. Its main task is the striving for Christian perfection along the ways she had pointed out to and proclaim the mystery of God's mercy through life and word, as well as entreating it for the whole world. The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy is created up for individual worshippers of the Divine Mercy - in other words, by everyone who in one way or another undertakes the above tasks.
The aims of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy:
- The principal aim of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy is of evangelization to make the Church a sign of the saving presence of God in the World.
- To strive for Christian perfection through trust in God and showing mercy towards one's neighbors,
- To get to know and proclaim the mystery of God's mercy.
- To support Catholic Mission around the world
- To entreat God's mercy for the whole world.
The Purpose of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy
- To prepare the world for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
- To promote research and seek formation in the Divine Mercy message, devotion and spirituality.
- To proclaim and give Testimony of Divine Mercy as the Heart of the Gospel, and to spread the Divine Mercy message, devotion and spirituality as it is found in the Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the life and writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time" (John Paul II: Regina Coeli message, April 10, 1994)
- The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy seeks to achieve these goals in three ways:
- by research and study of the theology and spirituality of the Divine Mercy;
- by promotion of the knowledge of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion as revealed by Jesus to Saint Faustina;
- by providing formation opportunities for Divine Mercy leaders in this message, devotion, and spirituality.
- In order to fulfill well the above task, one has to primarily get to know the mystery of God's mercy, through prior analysis of the Holy Scriptures, the encyclical Dives in Misericordia, Sr. Faustina's Diary, as well as other books which have received the Imprimatur of the Church. Penetrating the mystery of the Divine Mercy in the act of creation, salvation and man's eternal unity with God, as well as acknowledging the work of God's merciful love in one's personal life, emerging to the attitude of trust and mercy, as well as an ardent desire to spread this message to others.
- The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy will conduct research with rigorous academic criteria in the areas of history, theology, spirituality and iconography by means of the collection, organization and analysis of existing materials. Through the gathering of sources and works related to the Divine Mercy, the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy will maintain an specialized library with archives and audiovisual materials related to Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy.
- With fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy reviews and translates sources, publishes relevant essays and critical works on dogmatic, ascetical, pastoral and mystical theology in as much as these studies are linked to the Divine Mercy message, devotion and spirituality, for the benefit of the Catholic academic community and those engaged in pastoral service.
- As a means of spreading the Divine Mercy message, devotion and spirituality in the life of the Church, the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy organizes academic symposia, lectures and seminars for Divine Mercy followers and leaders, and formation opportunities for their spiritual enrichment. The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy Members are available to speak at conferences or special programs, which focus on the Divine Mercy message.
- The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy will contribute with articles to catholic newsletters and other catholic periodicals, will also contribute to radio and television programs and consistently continue to develop this area, will develop a more complete web page which reflects the purpose and activities of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy and which will provide timely and accurate materials on the Divine Mercy message, devotion and spirituality.
Spirituality of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy
The spirituality of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy focuses in the training of the apostles of the Divine Mercy which is based in the Holy Scriptures, Fathers of the Church, teachings: of the "Magisterium" of the Roman-Catholic Church, the Holy Father, the local Bishop, God's Servant Father Michal Sopocko, enriched by the mission and mystical experience of Saint Sister Faustina. Following a course of suitable spiritual formation, the members take pledges of total surrender and service to the work of the Divine Mercy for a definite period (four years) or for their entire life.
The Spirituality of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy is formed by permanent contemplation of the mystery of God's mercy and the mystery of the Church.
Above all, the spirituality of the apostles of Divine Mercy is characterized by an attitude of faith, which is a live relation between us and the Person of Jesus Christ; is a total giving of one-self to our Savior and our neighbors.
Spiritual life training for the members of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must start the day by offering him or herself to Merciful Jesus with a short prayer of self-giving
- The Meeting Tent (Ex 33) Intimacy with God. The special time when the members offer their lives to Jesus Christ is a personal prayer called the Meeting Tent, there in a cordial conversation with Christ as our friend we tell Him about our sufferings, joys and life.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must go to daily Mass.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must dedicate time to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. If the circumstances do not allow for adoration in the church; then must dedicate a moment to adore the Blessed Sacrament spiritually.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must dedicate time to daily reading and meditation of the Bible and study of the Church Documents.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must pray daily the rosary, self-offering to the Immaculate Mother of the Church, and self train to follow Her.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must have a 3 days retreat every year
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must execute daily exams of conscience and monthly confessions.
- A Member of the Lay Institute of Divine Mercy must pray daily the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- There are many ways to fit the Prayer or brief moments of prayer into our busy everyday lives. Here are few suggestions when you might pray:
- Soon after you wake up
- Driving to and from work
- Between chores at home or while on break at work
- During a jog or a walk
- After dinner, with your family
- Consider these ideas for incorporating short moments of prayer into your everyday life:
- Offer up your day to Jesus through Mary upon rising
- Offer up your day while the car warms up
- Offer up your day before your work day, whether in the office or at home
- Pray while your computer boots up
- Pray the Angelus (the Church's noontime prayer) during your lunch break, ideally with others
- Use your mid-afternoon coffee break to pray at 3 p.m., which Divine Mercy devotees remember as the hour that Jesus died on the cross
- Conclude your day with prayer