It is Spring of 2020 and a Pestilence has fallen upon the Earth. The Pestilence is not merely a virus. It encompases the reactions and responses on the part of individuals, governments and other bodies, some fearful, some self-serving, some draconian. It encompasses all the fallout that will result for economies, bodies, and souls. It also encompasses many heroic responses. This is where we come in.
In an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, isolation has been the foremost weapon employed. Isolation, however, has it's own harmful effects. What is more sad than to think of a loved one dying alone? The only thing I can think of is a loved one - or anyone - dying without hope.
Because isolation for those who are hospitalized is enforced by hospitals, governments, and even our bishops, many are wholly without the sacraments while lying alone on their deathbeds. This grieves me. I propose we stand in the gap. We cannot provide them with the sacraments, but we can appeal to God's mercy on their behalf. It will do us good, as well as them.
Christ died that all may be saved. He desires it. His redemptive work is available to be poured out for each person who desires it. Even the thief crucified on His right, the one who recognized in the final hour that he deserved the death he was facing, asked Our Lord "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."
I propose that we all pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those people dying without the opportunity to receive the Sacraments of Annointing of the Sick and Confession. Pray for those who may not think of their neglected Faith in the last hour because they have been away from the Church. Pray for those who have not had the opportunity to embrace Our Lord's offer of eternal life because there is no one to offer it to them in their most important hour - the hour of their death.
In The Divine Mercy Chaplet, we appeal to the Father, offering to Him His own divine Son's redemptive work, that it not be made without effect. "For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world." It is an irresistable prayer.
We do not believe the sacraments are magical. They are real; they effect what they signify. They are not just symbols, they effect what they signify. They were given us by God that we might have abundant life and become son's of God and saints. They cannot be done without. But without them we are. We, the faithful, ought to raise our voices to our heavenly Father, with this irresistable and perfect offering - His beloved Son's passion - to call down mercy on those who are dying alone and all who are in need of mercy.
We will only really know the true benefit of our prayers when we meet our own end, but I guarantee great good will come of it. Begin today. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (below the picture) every day or several times a day while the Pestilence lingers upon the earth. Let us stand in prayer with our dying brothers and sisters so they may not die alone and without hope.
Jesus, I trust in Thee.
To pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, using a Rosary, pray one Our Father, One Hail Mary, and One Apostles Creed.
On the Our Father beads pray:
"Eternal Father, I offer You the body and 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 the Hail Mary beads pray:
"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
Then three times: "Holy God, holy Mighty One, holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world"
Then three times: "Jesus, I trust in You."