My personal game plan for Lent.
  • Only allowing myself 1 caffeinated beverage a day, either tea or coffee. 
  • Praying the Rosary daily
  • On Fridays, praying all 15 decades of the Rosary+ Divine Mercy Chaplet 
  • Read 1 chapter of the Bible daily.
  • Making an effort to pray on my knees more often. 
  • No alcohol. (Which really just means giving up the occasional glass of wine with dinner, but still. It’s an enjoyable thing that i’ll miss!)

I’ll add other random sacrifices, and generally do more spiritual reading, but these are the rules I’ve set for myself this lent. This is the first Lent where I’m focusing more on adding things than giving things up.

I had a pleasant Good Friday surprise by way of this church– the Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy in Bgy. Pagkilatan, Batangas.

Anyway this chapel is only two years old. The reredos were pattered after after shrines to the Holy Child in Prague and Toronto, I’m told. What’s even more striking is just how far Pagkilatan is from civilization: it is a coastal town that required passing through several different towns first before actually arriving there, and in fact, the shrine was so remote that they did not even bother covering the reredos with a purple veil (the parish was some distance away). Goats, cows, and horses simply outnumbered cars. An incredibly beautiful place, nontheless.

My daughter…why do you not tell me about everything that concerns you, even the smallest details? Tell Me about everything, and know that this will give Me great joy. I answered, But You know about everything, Lord.“ And Jesus replied to me, "Yes I do know; but you should not excuse yourself with the fact that I know, but with childlike simplicity talk to Me about everything, for my ears and heart are inclined towards you, and your words are dear to Me.(2; 921)
—  St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul

“I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings” (Diary 153).

    - St. Faustina Kowalska, “Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul

June 13, 1929 - vision of Sister Lucy:  Suddenly, the whole chapel lit up with a supernatural light and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached the ceiling. In a clearer light, on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man with His body to the waist, on His chest a dove, equally luminous; and nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist (of Christ on the cross), suspended in the air, could be seen a Chalice and a large Host, onto which some drops of blood were falling, which flowed from the face of the Crucified One and from the wound in His breast. Running down over the Host, these drops fell into the Chalice.

Under the right arm of the cross was Our Lady with Her Immaculate Heart in Her hand … (She appeared as Our Lady of Fatima, with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm [of the cross], in large letters, like crystalline water which flowed over the altar, these words were formed: “Grace and Mercy”. I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.

Jesus asked St. Faustina that the first Sunday after Easter be declared Mercy Sunday, the “Feast of Divine Mercy”, a day when His graces would flow in an extraordinary way to all those who asked for them. He told Faustina: “I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine toward the souls of sinners. Let no sinner be afraid to approach Me."  (+)