My husband had been in a terrible work accident. He had to undergo emergency brain surgery, and they were keeping him sedated, so I had no idea how he would come out of it. There were side issues, but I think that's enough of a cause to push a wife to the brink, don't you think?
Now, for an explanation of Divine Mercy.
Sister Faustina, a Polish nun, had mystical experiences where Jesus appeared to her over a period of time. To sum it up in my own words, He said that His Sacred Heart hurt because it was overflowing with Mercy, but people weren't coming to Him for His Mercy. That's the short version. You can read Sister (now Saint) Faustina's diary Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska for more information, and I recommend that you do. This was a private revelation, so Catholics can make up their own minds whether or not they believe it, but it was vetted by the Church to make sure nothing conflicted with Scripture or the teachings of the Church, and it received their approval. And it's so important!
The chaplet is said while gazing on an image of Jesus with red and white rays coming from his Heart. At the bottom are the words "Jesus, I Trust in You".
|The original Kazimirowski painting.|
Here is an excerpt from the Diary that explains the meaning of the rays:
During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the water that makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls ...
These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when my agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. (Diary, 299).
On the Our Father beads, you pray the words, "Eternal Father, I offer you the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world."
On each Hail Mary bead, you pray the words, "For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
On Wednesday evenings, I would go to the chapel and pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. We would sing it, which added a dimension to our prayer. I also prayed it over my husband, and I prayed it at the hospital with his mother.