MANILA, Jan. 19, 2017 – The devotion to the Divine Mercy fosters not only an individual’s spiritual life but also promotes the growth of the Church, particularly in parishes and Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC).
This is the testimony given by Fr. Joel Rudi, parish priest of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Miag-ao, Iloilo, and spiritual director of the Divine Mercy organizations of the Archdiocese of Jaro, in an interview with CBCPNews.
“I have been serving as the spiritual director of the Divine Mercy organizations in our archdiocese for seven years now. I have seen how this devotion helped Catholics be more aware of their relationship with Jesus – as the fount of Mercy – and also of their relationships with their families and their communities,” said the priest who, together with Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo and 62 lay faithful, are official delegates of the Iloilo Archdiocese to the ongoing 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM 4.)
More active in parishes
According to the priest, devotees to the Divine Mercy are typically initiated into various forms of devotion like the chaplet, the novena to the Divine Mercy, and the 3:00 p.m. prayer or the “3 o’clock habit.”
“Later on, they become more open to participate in the life of their parishes, communities, or, at least, of their families, especially in prayer life and the sacraments,” shared Rudi.
“Through initiatives, such as the ‘home evangelization’, Divine Mercy devotees reach out to their families and to other people in their communities. This is also is an effective way of promoting the BEC and of encouraging people to participate more actively in the parish,” he explained.
Importance of ‘shepherding’
Together with the proper disposition of the faithful, true devotion to the Divine Mercy is nurtured through the pastoral care of the Church.
As a spiritual director, Rudi oversees the members of the six organizations of the Divine Mercy in the archdiocese whose members practice and promote some forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy as well as ensure that their leaders receive regular formation and guidance.
“We meet the leaders monthly and we also organize formation seminars for them. The rest of the members also receive formation through recollections and other activities,” shared the priest.
More awareness of works of mercy
According to him, the Jubilee of Mercy also helped devotees realize that an important aspect of the devotion to the Divine Mercy is the works of mercy.
“From the time of the Jubilee Year there has been a heightened awareness of the works of mercy. The devotees are organizing more frequently initiatives to reach out to the others, Rudi added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)