Friday, January 15, 2016

7QT: Great Reads for the Jubilee Year of Mercy

1. My favorite book for this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy thus far is 7 Secrets of Divine Mercy by Vinny Flynn. Flynn is the author of other 7 Secrets books, (7 Secrets of the Eucharist and 7 Secrets of Confession), but I agree with him when he admits that this is the book he should have written first. It is a remarkable book that will open up your heart and your mind to the mysteries of Divine Mercy.  If you think you know just about all there is about Divine Mercy, you will be astounded to learn that there is so much more to know. Vinny Flynn is the perfect person to tell you about it. He has contemplated the mystery of Divine Mercy for thirty-five years and has worked with Divine Mercy experts Fr. Seraphim Michalenko and Fr. George Kosciki, to train many of the current speakers on this timely topic. He edited the official English version of the Diary of St. Faustina, and for twenty years has been singing the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with his family on EWTN.

Flynn is a dynamic educator who demonstrates his ability to dig into deep theological concepts and make them comprehensible to us in this astonishing account. Quoting Pope Francis, he tells us that devotion to divine mercy primarily means “putting mercy into action” and living lives that are “shaped by mercy.” In the first secret, we learn that “the Father’s plan is to introduce each of His children into the Trinity – to divinize us and unite us with Him and with each other in mutual self-giving love.”  He explains the secrets of Divine Mercy with such ease, sharing personal examples and using humor that you feel as if you are simply conversing with a personal mentor. This is a fulfilling and inspiring book that will nourish you in your faith and help you put the Divine Mercy devotion into practice in your life.

2. The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowlaska: Divine Mercy in My Soul is St. Faustina’s personal account of her visions and messages of mercy from the Lord. In it, we are reminded to trust the Divine Mercy in Jesus and seek His forgiveness. It is s a thick book and I put off reading it for that reason. If you are overwhelmed by 700 page books, you might try what I have been doing – read a few pages each day. It takes a while to get through it, but it is well worth the read.

3. Mercy Minutes by the late Reverend George W. Kosicki, CSB is a beautiful book which contains short excerpts from St. Faustina’s diary for each day of the year, arranged according to topic. It should take no more than a few minutes to read each one, but you may want to meditate on them for a longer period of time. Meditating on Mercy Minutes is a great way to start or end your day. It is also ideal for Eucharistic Adoration.

4. Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion is a magnificent guide to accompany you on your spiritual journey during the Year of Mercy. It is currently going into its third printing and is still available for purchase as of this date. In this daily devotional, over 30 gifted authors immerse you in the virtue of mercy. It contains a wide variety of works which help you embrace God’s mercy and extend it to your neighbor, which include: poetry, meditations, saints, scriptural reflections, devotions, prayers, and catechesis. I treasure these brief readings which have been opening up my mind and heart to the virtue of mercy.

5. The Name of God is Mercy is the newly published book by Pope Francis that was released on January 12th.  I am looking forward to reading it soon. Elise Harris of Catholic News Agency writes about it HERE 

6. You Did It to Me: A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action by Fr. Michael Gaitley is another book which I have yet to read. Stacy Gulino reviews it HERE. 

7. The Marian Helpers offer many other books, pamphlets, and resources that promote the Divine Mercy message.

Have a blessed weekend!                                

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