Understanding Divine Mercy Sunday

be the prophetic message addressed to him. The two motives corroborate one another and fuse into one in the mind of the hierarch and his decision. That this economy is valid for the New as for the Old Covenant is stated clearly in the very forceful words by St. Paul. We recall just the two which follow: “The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2, 30), meaning the prophets of the New Testament, as is shown beyond the shadow of doubt in the context. And this one: “Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. Hold fast that which is good.” (Thess. 5, 19-20). “Hold fast”: St. Paul is here giving an order. That is why Saint Thomas Aquinas himself goes as far as saying that “Prophecy is necessary for the government of the people and (he adds in an emphatic way) principally in what concerns divine worship, for which nature is not adequate: grace is necessary.” Following Saint Augustine, he affirms also that “there has never been a lack of men possessing the spirit of prophecy; not to propose a new doctrine of faith but to direct man in his actions,” “so far as that was necessary for the salvation of the elect”. That necessity would have no meaning if it did not include the obligation to believe in prophecy. The repeated invitation of the Second Vatican Council to respect charisms should open minds today to that theology of prophetic charism and to its essential function in the divine economy of the government of the Church. So, then, when the Popes consecrate the world to the Heart of Christ or to the Heart of Mary [or the Divine Mercy Feast!] at a request made to them by the prophetic route and after satisfying themselves that their action fits perfectly the requirements of the New Covenant — discernment of the charism presented to them having been duly exercised — the step they take is not just legitimate; it is the response to a duty of the supernatural order which is obligatory. Reflections on the Act of Consecration at Fatima by Joseph DeSainte-Marie, O.C.D., The Teresianum, Rome, 1983 As regards the direction of human acts, prophetic revelation was diversified not according to the process of time, but according to the needs of circumstances; because, as is said in Proverbs, “Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint” (29:18). That is why at every period men were instructed by God about what they were to do, according as was expedient for the salvation of the elect. ... At each period there were always some who had the

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