Updated: April 14, 2021 05:01 AM GMT
People in traditional clothes carry a statue of Divine Mercy in a procession at the Pilgrimage Center of Divine Mercy in Dong Nai province on April 9. (Photo courtesy of giaophanxuanloc.net)
The archbishop of a southern Vietnamese archdiocese has warned people against practicing Divine Mercy for their own will rather than God’s will.
Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City said it is right and suitable for the central core of the Good News as Saints Faustina and Pope John Paul promoted Divine Mercy practice.
“Divine Mercy is shown in Jesus’ passion so that we can be saved. So, we must absolutely trust in God and feel we ourselves need to be loved by God,” he told hundreds of people attending the feast of Divine Mercy at Notre Dame Cathedral on March 11.
“God of love gives us the grace of resurrection and his love and peace, which are beyond our wishes,” Archbishop Nang said.
The 67-year-old prelate urged the faithful to practice Divine Mercy by forgiving one another as God pardons them and by helping patients, people with physical disabilities and those who live in poverty and miserable conditions as much as they can.
He said St. Faustina invited people to venerate and reflect on statues and pictures of Divine Mercy, hold novena devotion and recite Divine Mercy rosaries at their convenient time. Divine Mercy practices are held on Thursday nights at the cathedral.
People could daily observe a minute’s silence for the Passion to pray for dying people and sinners at 3pm. They do not need to stop their work to go to church and say prayers at that time.
“When we catch diseases, we should come to appeal to God to heal us and fetch doctors immediately,” said Archbishop Nang, who declined to have his episcopal ring kissed so as to stay clear of Covid-19 infection, adding that they must seek medical treatment for physical illnesses.
The archbishop, who serves a deputy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, said it is not all the time they are given healing as they pray. “God could let us suffer illnesses so that we could be in communion with Jesus on the cross and make our contribution to the Plan of Salvation,” he said.
Archbishop Nang, who holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology, reminded them to not forget the mystery of the Cross in their life since Jesus, God’s son, had to suffer the passion before his resurrection. “We are not exempt from suffering.”
He noted that doing Divine Mercy practice is not to heal but to commemorate Jesus’ suffering and ask contrition and conversion for themselves and others.
“We trust in God who offers us fullness of life in the earthy life and life after death,” he said.
The prelate warned them against wishing and advertising miracles that only hurt them. They should not hurry to believe unconfirmed rumors about miracles of healing and exorcism here and there before those rumors are verified by the Church.
He said Jesus performed miracles secretly and quietly and asked victims not to tell their stories to other people.
He noted that doing God’s work is always to bring peace, communion and love to communities and sanctify the people of God.
Anna Nguyen Thi Thanh Trang from Phu Hanh Parish said she highly appreciated Archbishop Nang’s useful advice.
She said she has been devoted to Divine Mercy for 20 years to pray for her family members. Her husband changed his moral life by giving up gambling and drug abuse and her son-in-law, who is a security officer, allows his wife to practice her faith.
“We ask for God’s grace, not money, to live out faith and God to answer us,” the 55-year-old said.
On April 10, Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh blessed a big statue of Divine Mercy and a Eucharist adoration chapel in the compound of the Phu Hanh church.