On This Date in Some Year, Not Much Happened

That’s not true, actually. A quick check told me that stuff happened on February 3rd:

  • 1488: Bartolomeu Dias landed in Mossel Bay
  • 1690: Colony of Massachusetts issued paper money, first in the Americas
  • 1793: Enlightened French leaders removed insufficiently liberated citizens
  • 1916: Seven people were killed when Canada’s parliamentary Centre Block burned
    • Rumors said it was Germany’s fault
    • Others said that someone left a lit cigar in the wrong place
  • 1918: San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Tunnel opened

Problem is — ‘February 3rd’ items I found would either take too long to research, be too potentially provocative, or both.

Research legwork, the virtual sort, isn’t a problem. Neither are provocative topics.

But, since I prefer making sense to other options, legwork and making (reasonable) waves take more time and effort than I’ve got. Time, particularly.

Wait a minute. Can I “have” effort? Never mind.

Today’s Wednesday, which is when I get an hour at the local Adoration chapel. And that hour neatly splits my afternoon into two sub-optimal intervals for writing.

So I’ve picked a topic that deserves days of time and effort. And I plan to spend the next hour slapping out something I can review, revise and post today.

Saint Faustina Kowalska’s Divine Mercy Devotion

Eugeniusz Kazimirowski's 'Divine Mercy.' (1934)Normally, I’d start by talking about Saints. They’re folks who earned reputations for heroic virtue. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 828)

Sainthood’s fast track is deciding that being killed for taking Jesus seriously makes more sense than going along with someone’s preferred reality.

Over the last couple millennia, a fair number of folks took that option.

But many Saints weren’t executed.

Some lived long and generally healthy lives.

Some, like St. Faustina Kowalska, got sick and died young. But that’s not why they’re Saints, and that’s another topic.

I’ve talked about this before.

Folks who enjoy taking time with a name and title say “Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament” when they’re talking about St. Faustina.

That’s proper and correct. But I’ll be calling her “St. Faustina” in this entry. Mostly.

Anyway, St. Faustina was a Polish nun in the early 20th century. Back then she was Faustina Kowalska. She wasn’t vetted for Sainthood until later.

She said that she was having conversations with our Lord. Nothing unusual there. Lots of folks say they’re on a first-name basis with Jesus, Napoleon or some other bigwig.

Due Diligence and a Polish Nun

What’s different about Faustina Kowalska was that an assortment of clergy in her part of the world went through our routine for dealing with such claims.

And they decided that she might be making factually-accurate reports. Which is one reason we’ve got her diary. And that’s yet another topic, for another time.

Long story short, Faustina Kowalska kept making sense. A priest had her tell an artist how to present visual information she’d received, and that’s how we got the Divine Mercy picture I put up there.

There’s nothing ‘magical’ about the Divine Mercy picture. It won’t cure warts, help you sell your house or give you whiter teeth.

It is, however, a good visual aid for folks doing the Divine Mercy chaplet. Like me.

Saying the Divine Mercy chaplet isn’t magic, either. No prayer is magic.

Prayer: Always Possible, Not Always Easy and Always a Good Idea

If I don’t pray, I can’t act as if I take what God says seriously. (Catechism, 2098)

I also can’t make stuff happen by going through the motions. (Catechism, 2111)

Again, prayer isn’t magic. Trying to make someone on the ‘other side’ is a very bad idea. (Catechism, 21152117)

Prayer is — a library could be filled with books about that.

Basically, prayer is getting together with God. It’s always possible. (Catechism, 2559, 2564, 2567, 2743)

Again, prayer is always possible. I didn’t say it was easy. We’re not told that it is, and I’ve noticed that it’s often anything but easy. It’s a good idea, anyway.

Now it’s nearly time for my ‘Adoration chapel hour.’ I’ll very likely be doing the Divine Mercy chaplet twice during my hour in the Adoration chapel. Not because I’m particularly pious. And that’s yet again another topic.

Like I said, I’ve talked about this sort of thing before:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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