Yesterday the Jubilee Year of Mercy began in the Church. How can you fully participate in the graces of this holy year? Here are ten ideas for you and your family.
1. Go to confession more often.
How often do you participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Can you make it more often? Once a month is a good starting place for people who are trying to grow in holiness.
2. Forgive those who have hurt you.
Is anyone estranged from you because of a past conflict? Reach out to them in love this year. Tell them you forgive them and you want to start the relationship over.
3. Cancel debts.
In the Lord’s Prayer we say, by one translation, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Do you have literal debts owed you that you can cancel? Maybe a friend borrowed money and is afraid to tell you he can’t pay it back. Maybe a son or daughter needed a temporary loan. Maybe a renter is behind on payments because he lost his job. Astonish them by telling them they don’t have to pay part or all of what they owe. Tell them you are celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
4. Read the diary of St. Faustina.
St. Faustina Kowalska wrote Divine Mercy in My Soul to herald the mercy of God. It’s several hundred pages long and well worth the time it takes to read. Set aside fifteen minutes a day this year to learn how much God loves sinners.
5. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Jesus revealed to St. Faustina a chaplet to be prayed on the rosary beads, at 3 PM, if possible. Make this chaplet your new devotion.
6. Practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Do you remember the seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy? Choose one to practice all year, with your family if possible. Make mercy concrete for others who need to know God’s love.
7. See God’s mercy in all circumstances.
Try to accept everything that happens in your life, big or small, good or bad, as being covered by divine Providence. Can you find the good in every circumstance? If all else fails, can you become the good in an otherwise bad circumstance? (I talk about this in detail in Trusting God with St. Therese. This is an affiliate link.)
8. Practice mortification.
Do you wish to be perfect? Heed these words of St. Paul:
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom 12:1-2)
9. Do a Bible study on mercy.
Study God’s mercy throughout the ages. How was He merciful to the Patriarchs, the Israelites, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and the sick and suffering in the Gospels?
10. Invite someone back to Mass.
Everyone knows a fallen away Catholic–perhaps many. Invite them to come home. Share how God’s mercy has touched your life and how you want them to experience it too.
Now, share in the comments ways you plan to celebrate this beautiful new year in the Church.