It’s pretty hit-or-miss whether I remember to start the Divine Mercy novena on time each year. I mean, day one is Good Friday. The typical busy Catholic mother has spent the day in a combination of hard-core prayer and frantic domestic preparations for Easter: spring cleaning, food shopping, putting together decent Easter outfits for the children. At my house, when we get back from Good Friday liturgy, we build a sort of Calvary/tomb tableau with rocks, moss, and flowers from the garden. This takes time. Then, having served that one full meal of the day to the ravenous fasting hordes around there, I start baking the required Easter pastries, and making a list of needed items (wine, egg dyes, dress shoes that fit the boy who just outgrew the pair I bought him last month) for a last minute Holy Saturday shopping trip. So is it any wonder that on Good Friday night I’m likely as not to fall into bed, exhausted and having totally forgotten to start the Divine Mercy novena? I ask you!
But not this year. To my rescue comes John-Paul Deddens, my novena knight in shining armor. I’ve signed up with his wonderful Pray More Novenas website, and if I manage to check my email even once on Good Friday, I’ll receive a reminder to start the novena, AND the prayers will be there right on the email. (No more hunting around for those old-fashioned novena pamphlets! Sometimes I just love this modern digital era!)