Prayer – testimony – formation
In Kraków-Łagiewniki people who have been deeply touched by Jesus’ message given to s. Faustyna meet together; those people want to pass the message about God’s Mercy everywhere they live and work. Łagiewniki is a special place, hence, the congress is held here and was accepted by everyone with great enthusiasm. The First World Congress of Divine Mercy was held in the capital of the Church – Rome. The Second Congress is held at the very source – in the world capital of Divine Mercy worship.
At the very source
Where a saint dies, his whole heritage is deposited – says s. Elżbieta Siepak from the Convent of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which particularly cares about the message coming from this place. – That heritage, spiritual wealth of St. Faustyna is her prophetic mission of proclaiming the message of God’s Mercy in the world through her life, deeds, words and prayer and her school of spirituality. Thanks to her charism and mystical experience, a movement numbering millions of apostles of Divine Mercy appeared – ‘a new convent’ which Jesus had asked her for. And, although it’s known that the congress will be held in different places, parishes or churches of Cracow diocese, Łagiewniki remains a centre which attracts apostles of Divine Mercy.
The Congress has many dimensions. It is a prayer and a testimony, as well as essential intellectual formation. People from all over the world come here – says s. Elżbieta. – In Poland we have many materials, much literature about the mystery of Divine Mercy, life and mission of St. Faustyna. From the ministry,we are also advanced in passing the message of Divine Mercy. The congress and our ministry here, in Łagiewniki, are focused on passing this message to people from other countries and continents. We need congresses, symposia in order to fathom this message, and also pastoral and theological help, so that this message would be passed in many languages properly. The congress is a unique occassion for many people to learn about the message of Divine Mercy written in the ‘Diary’ by St. Faustyna and given to Church and the world in the third millenium by Blessed John Paul II – through media and first of all a life testimony and apostolate of participants in this event – emphasizes s. Elżbieta Siepak.
With God’s inspiration
The ‘Diary’ by s. Faustyna, in which the message of Divine Mercy and the spiritual life of s. Faustyna were written, is a book which doesn’t make anyone indifferent. It touches the soul. Therefore, despite many important events in the Church which have taken place this year (among the others the beatification of John Paul II or the World Youths’ Days), so many people came to Łagiewniki. – It fascinates me – says s. Siepak – that God, through the ‘Diary’, inspires people of different professions to bring the gift of Divine Mercy to the world. It turns out that every area where a man functions is a chance for proclaiming God’s Mercy – not only through a pulpit, literature, culture and art but also in a prison, street, office, hospital, shop or kitchen. There’s no place where this message could not be proclaimed.
Through a prism of Mercy
The congress will be attended, first of all, by apostles of Divine Mercy. Those who identify themselves with the mission of St. Faustyna, learn in her school of spirituality – as s. Elżbieta shares her observations. – The name ‘school of spirituality’ has got its meaning here – she explains. – In the hierarchy of spirituality ‘school’ means a top because all elements which compose certain spirituality, have some coherent point here. In the case of St. Faustyna’s school, the coherent point is a mystery of God’s Mercy which connects other elements of spirituality such as a picture of God, attitude towards a man, ascetic practices and prayer. The mystery of God’s Mercy is a centre which influences on how we perceive everything: God, another man, the world, what happens to us and gives the sense to our life and action...
In a special school
What do apostles learn about in St. Faustyna’s school of spirituality? – I ask. – First of all, they learn about God in the mystery of Divine Mercy, they contemplate God everyday but also discover the beauty and wealth of Christian and human mercy – says s. Siepak. They also learn trustfulness towards God which is neither abstract nor a feeling. These are features which make St. Faustyna’s school stand out. The Church, Eucharist, God’s Mother appear also in other schools of spirituality; however, they are perceived by St. Faustyna in the light of the mystery of Divine Mercy, so as gifts of Divine Mercy for man. – Entrusting God and testifying mercy to another man can be fulfilled in every situation and time. So St. Faustyna’s school of spirituality is unusually simple and universal. You don’t have to be a theology graduate, to take this path, go to this school. The task of apostles of Divine Mercy is just to make God’s merciful love present in the world in different ways, first of all, in everyday life, through trusting God, that is, fulfilling His will and showing our mercy towards our neighbours – adds s. Elżbieta.
Everyday contemplation of God
A phenomenon taught by St. Faustyna is everyday contemplation of God. We do not have to close ourselves in a cloister or escape from the world. We can contemplate God’s merciful love in our vocation. The contemplation of God in our actions is a path along which we can walk towards the heights of mysticism. An example of St. Faustyna is very clear – you can be a mystic living in the world. We just need to treat our life together with God seriously, discover His presence in our souls and experience our everyday life with Him. We can contemplate God not only in a church but in a kitchen, with a baby or in a tram...Through love we can connect with God who lives in a sinless soul. It’s a brilliant discovery, deriving from the Gospel according to St. John, which was done by St. Faustyna! Not everybody has to experience extraordinary grace. It is all about our unification with God – we say about unification of the will here. We can walk this path to gain the Christian perfection. This model of the perfection is needed in the world today.
Hungers of the world
St. Elżbieta notes thoughfully: - today the world is hungry for love and the sense of security. Hunger for love is satisfied just in this way when we recognize somebody in God who loves us infinitely. His love will never change. Through contemplation of God in everyday life we also satisfy our hunger for the sense of safety. St. Faustyna teaches us that God is closer to us than another man – God lives in us. So, we are safe because we are in hands of the one to whom everything belongs: time, the Earth, eternity. We can look at life with this trustfulness in the perspective of eternity – like a child on a mother’s lap – not being afraid of anything.
A current message
Today, in a very lost world, in which a fight for human souls appears, the only help seems to be a trustful prayer to Divine Mercy. The Congress of Mercy is a sign of our times, a memento where we should look for help. – There is no more effective prayer than Chaplet of Divine Mercy – says s. Siepak. –in this prayer we offer Jesus Christ up to Our God Father. We have got nothing greater what we could give to God. Then our God Father looks at the world through Christ’s wounds, he wants to save everybody. The testimony of St. Faustyna shows that our life happens on a big stage where the Heaven and evil power fight for us. But which party is going to win is decided by a man and his freedom and who he will trust. ‘(...) encourage souls, who you meet, to trust my infinite mercy. Oh, how much I love souls who have trusted me completely – I will do everything for them’ (Act of Apostles) (Dz. 294) – he said to s. Faustyna. This trustfulness is not needed by God. It is needed by a man so that he could be happy not only in eternity but now as well.
The Congress of Divine Mercy is a new challenge and a task for everybody, who wants to pass the world and their environments the message about God’s infinite love to us. – For me the Congress is a great chance for spreading the news about mercy which Jesus gave to s. Faustyna – says s. Elżbieta – this message will be learnt better by those who will come to Łagiewniki but also those who will be sent here. I would like the congress to bring a fruit of correct proclaiming this message, the correctness of practising worship to Divine Mercy in forms passed by s. Faustyna, so that not only the same promises but also conditions of their fulfilling would be discussed; what is the fundament of this worship and the message would also be discussed, that is, Divine Mercy and the style of Christian life in the spirit of trustfulness in God and active love towards our neighbour – as s. Siepak emphasizes.
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MERCY – THE SOURCE OF HOPE
Kraków-Łagiewniki, 1-5 X 2011
Basilica of Divine Mercy
14.00 -Congress Inauguration
15.00 – Praying in the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy
17.30 – Eucharist
20.00 – Inauguration concert: F. Liszt ‘Christ’
2 October: Message of Divine Mercy for the world
10.00 – Eucharist
12.00 – Prayer of the Angelus with Holy Father Benedict XVI and the Pope’s message for participants of the congress
15.00 – Meeting for the youngest – program ‘Grain’ (‘Ziarno’) (Basilica of Divine Mercy, Kraków-Łagiewniki)
15.00 - Praying in the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy (in different language-speaking groups in Cracow churches around the Main Square
18.00 – ‘Credo’ – Cenacolo community (The Main Square)
3 October: St. Faustyna – an apostle of Divine Mercy
12.00 – Eucharist (Basilica of Divine Mercy, Kraków-Łagiewniki)
17.00 – Prayer for peace and mercy for the world in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau
20.00 – Meetings in parishes of Krakow, sharing experiences of God’s Mercy with residents of Krakow (details on the website: diecezja.pl)
4 October: Blessed John Paul II – an apostle of God’s Mercy
12.00 – Eucharist
16.30 – Ecumenical prayer on Wadowice Square for Mercy for the world through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II
20.00 - Meetings in parishes of Krakow, sharing experiences of God’s Mercy with residents of Krakow (details on the website: diecezja.pl)
5 October: ‘Go and tell the world about the message of mercy’
11.00 – Eucharist at the end of the congress