Today, Paul & I spent a wonderful day up in Stockbridge, MA. at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. This is *the* Shrine where EWTN filmed the Divine Mercy Chaplet shown daily at 3:00pm. This chapel is stunningly beautiful and so very peaceful.
2010 is the 50th anniversary of the Shrine, and Pope Benedict has declared a plenary indulgence for pilgrims visiting the Shrine who fulfill the usual obligations for the Indulgence. I don't know about anyone else, but I can use all the help I can get. It doesn't hurt that the Shrine is a beautiful, holy and peaceful place to visit.
We made Mass by the skin of our teeth. Well, we weren't on time, but the readings hadn't yet started (blush). Side note....Question: How does a girl brought up to always be at least 10 minutes early for any event continue to be 5-10 minutes late. Answer: Marry a laid-back guy who works the midnight shift and you'll find out.
This is Saint Faustina's altar. I forgot to take a picture of Pope John Paul II cap and rosary. Where was my head?
This is the altar on the left side of the Chapel which is devoted to St. Joseph. There is a beautiful statue of Mary here. Of course, once again I forgot to take a picture.
This is a reflecting pool with an area devoted to St. Joseph. The pool was empty and dirty from the winter when we were last here on Divine Mercy Sunday. We were excited to see the pool clean and filled with water. The small building behind the pool contains a statue of St. Joseph & the baby Jesus, along with hundreds of candles. Wouldn't you love to sit here, with St. Joseph, and find refreshment in the Lord? Side note: We are very devoted to St. Joseph. I've asked him to guide me like he is my actual father, and help me stay on track.
I "met" a very holy priest in Confession today. He was so excited that I was in Confession. He radiated such joy, that I imagine every person going to Confession left with a bit of his joy.
I left with a feeling of joy, peace and happiness that God had granted, yet again, one of my prayers.
The Confessionals at the Shrine are the old-fashioned, Priest behind the screen, Confessionals. I am on the shy side, and I am also very private, so going to Confession is actually a bit torturous for me. I believe in the sacrament of Confession and I'll be the first to advise another person they should go to Confession. I only go if the Lord practically throws me into the Confessional. (Pray for me please that I get over this pride thing and just go.) I have been praying to find an old-fashioned confessional, because I thought it would help (and it did). I happen to be one of those people who just loves the old-fashioned traditions of the Church (pre-Vatican II). I am NOT one of the "Traditionalists" that think everything from Vatican II and beyond is heresy (or whatever they believe). I just love the comfort that "tradition" brings to me. God is good all the time. He answered my prayer, and I am humbled and grateful.
Our next visit to the Shrine will be bittersweet. We plan to head there on the Feast of the Assumption, which is August 15th. My mother went home to God last year, on August 15th, at 3:00pm, just as the contemporary (weekend version) of the chaplet began playing on EWTN. A trip to the Shrine will definitely be a pilgrimage and will be a happy/sad day for sure.
I hope you had a Blessed and peaceful Sunday. God Bless!