Divine Mercy


I’m laid up for the next few weeks after having surgery last week. (I’m fine, thanks!)

As such, I haven’t been able to do a whole lot other than read and watch TV.


As a result of my recovery, I’ve been limited in my Internet activities. E-mails and blog subscriptions that I read are piling up in my e-mail box.


In my hours of watching TV, I’ve been introduced to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on EWTN: The Catholic Network. It plays at 3pm every day. (Considered by Catholics to be the time of day that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday.)


First off, to reassure my polytheistic readers, while this is a post about a Catholic devotional practice,I am not becoming a Catholic again.


However, I adore the current of devotion apparent in modern (and ancient Catholicism). As someone interested in devotion, as someone raised as Roman Catholic, and as someone living in an area with a very strong and devout Catholic community, I most often see devotion manifest in my daily interactions with the world through Catholicism.


I have a great deal of criticism for the institution of the Church itself but I find so much beauty in the devotion of lay and religious Catholics. (I mean “religious” in the Catholic sense, meaning monastics, friars, nuns, sisters, etc.)


There’s a difference between the Church (as in the institution of the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops)…and the Community of the Church. The community of devotees who pray. Often, devotions to saints come out of the Community rather than the leadership of the Church. It’s only after a particular individual becomes widely beloved and worshipped as a Saint by Catholic communities, that the Church will often look into naming someone a Saint.


So… the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.


Some of you who have spent time around Catholics or around Catholic communities may be familiar with the image of the Divine Mercy of Jesus.

Image result for divine mercy

The image is derived from visions of a St. Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938) of Poland, known as the Apostle of Mercy. St. Pope John Paul II, being Polish, was especially fond of this devotion and promoted it during his Papacy, which has led to its prevalence among Catholics today.


The Chaplet itself is a series of devotional prayers to be said upon rosary beads. The EWTN version has singing which I actually find to be quite beautiful. (Here are the words if you want to follow along.)


EWTN’s rival, CatholicTV, also plays a version every day at 3, but it’s spoken not sung. I prefer the sung version.


I was surprised that I didn’t already know this prayer (as you can see by the dates, it’s comparatively a recent tradition). However, my Catholic parents were not that religious and I only really got Catholicism 101 training via CCD (Catholic Sunday School).

I don’t actually pray this chaplet but it’s on my mind lately.

I’m often envious of the way devotion is interwoven throughout so many Catholics’ lives. There are people raised with this in our society still as their tradition. Here..in Modern America, people raised in a devotional atmosphere! Praying the rosary daily, saying this Chaplet. It seems so remarkable to me and so beautiful.

I love how some beautiful traditions can be new. Prior to Pope John Paul II, this wasn’t widely known among non-Polish Catholics. But after him, it’s gone worldwide among Catholics. I also find it intriguing how traditions spring up in different Catholic communities throughout the world.

What would a Pagan version of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy look like? Which god or goddess would you pick to be a deity of Mercy?


Despite not being Christian, I find the uplifting of Mercy in Catholicism to be a beautiful thing. I love the emphasis on the weak, the outcast, the suffering, the poor. Emphasis on peace and compassion.

While there are many hypocritical Catholics out there, I am touched by the way so many devout Catholics walk their walk and talk their talk and actually focus on the social justice inherent in the teachings of Jesus.

Dorothy Day, especially, is a favorite of mine. A Catholic anarchist who created Houses of Hospitality throughout the US. She helped many homeless and yet is not a household name among American Catholics the way Mother Teresa is.

I adore the marriage of making the world a better place combined with the prayer and devotions that one sees in Catholicism. It’s beautiful. If only I had the faith in that broken god or that damned Bible, I could be a Catholic. If only the institution of the Church wasn’t corrupt and virulently and inherently sexist.

As much as I value the devotional aspect we see within modern polytheistic religion, Catholicism shows us that we can have that devotion to the Divine as well as a focus on making the world a better place for those who are suffering, who are outcast, who are poor.

Given that Pagan and polytheist types are often outcasts, in some way, I have a feeling we could do a much better job as well. Many of us are LGBTIQ. We can serve a community that even most Catholics will not. (Though, to be fair, I do know some Catholic communities here in Boston that are open and accepting of LGBTIQ folks, despite the consternation of the Archbishop.)

I would love to see a polytheistic devotional ministry towards LGBTIQ youth. Not with the aim to convert others to our religion but just to be the hands of our gods in this world.

Women who are about to have or whom have had abortions could be another ministry. Be there to escort them to their appointments or to pray with them or just be there for them.

A ministry for sex-workers in the name of Aphrodite, the Beloved!

Anyone whom the Catholics or other Christian religions would judge harshly instead of treating with love and compassion. But also the poor and the homeless. The suffering.





~ by R.M. McGrath on 09/26/2017.

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