WAKE UP! AND PRAY
At the early hours of today I woke up to some sounds on my roof. It was persistent and it took the sleep away from my eyes; no feeling of giddiness that should easily force me back to sleep. “Okay,” I thought, “I should as well say my Divine Mercy prayer” which I usually do whenever I wake up at early hours, regardless of the time.
This is because some time in the past, when I lived with my parents and slept in the same room with my siblings, we used to set an alarm to wake us up at exactly 3am to say the Divine Mercy prayer and chaplet. But we later stopped setting the alarm because while others easily returned to sleep, I could not. And this was a daily practice which affected my day-time activities, especially as a working class person. But, because we had been woken by the alarm at 3am for a long while, we found ourselves subconsciously waking up still within 3am without the alarm, and said the prayer and chaplet.
To help myself overcome waking up, I stopped getting up from sleep to say it with my siblings, but would still say it with them lying down; I could not help it as the prayer quietly filled the air. Now, even though I am staying alone, I still subconsciously wake up around this time [sometime, at exactly 3am and other times, at some minutes after it] and made up my mind to say just the short prayer without the chaplet most of the time to enable me go back to sleep immediately after should I still feel giddy; and few of the times I also say the chaplet.
However, today, I had completely forgotten that it is a Divine Mercy [DM] Sunday when the sound on the roof gently jolted me fully awake – nothing scary. And so, I did the short DM 3am prayer like I usually do whenever I wake up in the early hours not minding to check the time. But today, after saying the prayer, something nudged me to check the time and I saw that it was 3:01am, and chuckled “Lord, so you want me to spend time with You this moment to say the chaplet of Your DM. okay.” And I said the chaplet.
Because I was fully awake at this time, I decided to put on my phone data to check if some priests had sent daily reflections to my Whatsapp to read. And that was when I discovered that today is DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY! The Lord woke me up at exactly 3am to observe the moment with Him! I was more than thrilled and inwardly winked at Him familiarly. I was glad He wanted the time with me because I knew and know how much I need/ed His mercy. And so I went into meditation again to pray for divine mercy for self, family and the world. After which I went through the reflections by the priests.
MERCY FOR THE WORLD
Praying for mercy on the world is very important to me because I am marveled, and at the same time, scared at the wickedness and evil humans unleash on one another out of hatred, bitterness, envy, ignorance, greed, selfishness, power and other senseless reasons they make up.
I am also saddened by the level of immorality in the world today. This has so spread that it is glorified and rewarded over morality. It is even explained away as a positive development for confidence on one hand and a means of livelihood on the other hand. Immoral individuals even mock the morally oriented who, defeated, shy away to extinction rather than confidently exact their faith and educate the hypocritical debauched better.
It was not enough to pray Divine Mercy for the world but to also to pray for God’s faithful [who seem to be thinning by the number] who are expected to work with God [in the great commission to ‘go make disciples of all nations’] by proclaiming His Gospel, living by His example and showing His love to all in need [so that ‘Thy kingdom come’], thereby restoring faith in God and a change of heart to how our good God intends for us [Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven]. For what is it if mercy is shown and the world continues in sin; it only strengthens the deluded resolve of the worldly who do not acknowledge God. This is the reason why the faithful must work with God to return His people to Him as He shows them His mercy; not that it is a condition for His grace though, but an obligation for us – His faithful. Indeed, we must worship, love and serve only God as it is first commanded in the Decalogue, and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit for our good and God’s greater glory.
WHY MUST WE OBEY GOD?
The worldly have propagated immorality and relativism over the TRUTH and WORD of God in the Bible through different kinds of programmes in all the types of media available, so much so that the world has embraced their reasoning and gone wild. It has gone so wild that it has become blind, deaf and proud to the repercussions of its actions. It immerses itself in worldly pleasures and so foregoes the joys and fruits of the Holy Spirit. It commits suicides out of depression instead of casting its burden upon its Creator as He commands in the Bible, because He who Created it alone knows how to uplift it. It buries itself in sorrow, anger, bitterness and hatred that leads it to kill and destroy rather than allow the Holy Spirit’s gifts of fortitude to bear and overcome, to love and so forgive, to counsel towards the will of God, to know and believe in God, to understand in oneness with God, to fear and revere God, and to be wise in its life journey.
So overwhelmed is the world by its falsehood that it disallows itself of the holiness of the virtues [faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance], the edification of the gifts [Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord] and the wonderful sweetness of the fruits [charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity] of the Holy Spirit, as well as the joy that comes from loving and serving the Almighty and Good God, its Creator. According to St. Augustine, “Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.” Ummmph! The truth is that, whenever I am deeply sad, I take up the Bible asking Him to console me through the random passages I open to read. I cling to Him in contemplation seeking His closeness. And I pray earnestly for His renewal. And then I feel better. It has worked a good number of times.
Father, we pray You have mercy on the world and renew us. Come Lord, wake us up, fill us, mold us, move us and use us, and increase Your faithful in number to become more zealous than the worldly in propagating You in the proclaiming and the living of Your Gospel, obeying Your commandments and giving love through all means possible, and by Your grace, bring the world back to You as the Only and Holy loving God, worthy alone of worship, praise and honour. May the world experience and acknowledge Your mercy and love shown through your Divine Graces and through one another. These I ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You. Thank you.
By Ifeanyi Chukwudi