In the Diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Lord Jesus said that He would give special graces on the Feast of Mercy, the Octave Sunday of Easter. On that day, Our Lord promises that those who have been to the Sacrament of Confession (and, of course, made a good confession of any and all mortal sins that were on their souls) and who receive Holy Communion on that Sunday, will receive a “complete remission of sins and punishment.” This grace has been compared to a “new baptism,” in other words, a completely fresh start spiritually.
In an ordinary “plenary indulgence,” which also gives us a fresh start by wiping out all of the stain of sin that we would need to be purified from before we can enter the Beatific Vision of God in heaven, there are five requirements:
- Performance of the indulgenced “work” — usually some prayer, or Scripture reading, or a pilgrimage.
- Detachment from all of our sins — that is, not holding on to any of our sins in any way.
- Prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions.
- Mass and Holy Communion in the state of grace.
So the special grace of Divine Mercy Sunday is that we only need to do #4 and #5 of the usual requirements. BUT that does not mean that we shouldn’t also do our very best to fulfill #2 — detachment from all of our sins (even venial sins)! Why do we need to strive for this detachment? So that we don’t just go right back to committing the same old sins once again! In other words, we still need to have a “firm purpose of amendment,” which is a requirement for making a good confession. So ask the Lord Jesus this Divine Mercy Sunday to help you to have the best “firm purpose of amendment” — a complete detachment from all of your past sins, mortal and venial. And ask Him for a true desire to cooperate with His Infinite Mercy and Grace, so that the special grace of this Feast of Mercy will truly be a “new beginning” in your spiritual life and relationship with the Lord Jesus!