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Welcome Letter.............................................................................................3 Study Guide..............................................................................................4-28 Welcome to Doors of Mercy................................................................7 Contents....................................................................................................9 Understanding Your Guide........................................................ 10-11 Lesson Plan.............................................................................................13 An Introduction to Doors of Mercy.......................................... 14-15 Prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis...............................................17 Lesson 1 - Adam & Eve: Promise............................................. 19-29 Leader Resources................................................................................ 30-39 Complete List of Leader Resources................................................31 Video Card..............................................................................................32 Invitation Card.......................................................................................33 Wall Poster..............................................................................................34 My Mercy Checklist..............................................................................35 Registration Form.................................................................................36 Information Session Notes......................................................... 37-38 Course Completion Certificate........................................................40 Learn More....................................................................................................41

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Dear Friend, The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy called for by Pope Francis has just begun, as Pope Francis has unsealed the Jubilee Doors at St. Peters. In the coming days, cathedrals across the world and in your own diocese will open their Jubilee Doors as well. Whether we are daily communicants, inactive Catholics, or anywhere in between, this is the perfect time to encounter God’s mercy in a powerful, life-altering way. For this very special Year of Mercy, Saint Benedict Press has created a program that invites each of us to walk through “Doors of Mercy”. Host Fr. Jeffrey Kirby and his team of experts lead us through the story of God’s intimate involvement with His people as revealed in the great covenants of the Bible. The program brings together parishioners and seekers, offering a chance for fellowship and mercy on a whole new level. Doors of Mercy: Exploring God’s Covenant with You is an accessible and engaging 8-week parish-wide program that offers a rich combination of foundational teaching and powerful life application. Each participant will see their own spiritual journey played out Adam to King David to Christ Himself. The program concludes with God’s message of mercy today in the story of St. Faustina Kowalska and an exploration of the Divine Mercy devotion, so suited for our times and especially this Jubilee Year. In this flipbook, we provide everything you need to make the decision to bring Doors of Mercy to your parish during this special year. Keep flipping and you’ll find: The first 25 pages from the Doors of Mercy Study Guide that includes: • Lesson Plan Outline • An Introduction to Doors of Mercy • Prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy • One Complete Lesson! A listing and examples of leader resources including: • Video Card • Invitation Card • Wall Poster • Registration Form • Information Session Notes • Wall Poster Mark your calendar now to bring Doors of Mercy to the people you serve. Our knowledgeable Parish Consultant team is ready to assist with program materials and many free leader resources to help implement the program easily and effectively. Call us today at 1.800.437.5876 to reserve your Doors of Mercy Parish Leader Pack. Visit MercyStudy.com for more information. The graces of this coming year will be extraordinary. Lead your people to discover them through “Doors of Mercy.” Sincerely,

Conor Gallagher Publisher

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Study Guide

Exploring EXPLORING God’s Covenant GOD’S COVENANT with You

WITH YOU

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, STL

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Copyright Š 2016 Saint Benedict Press All rights reserved. With the exception of short excerpts used in articles and critical review, no part of this work may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in any form whatsoever, printed or electronic, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Cataloging-in-Publication data on file with the Library of Congress Cover design by Chris Pelicano Graphic design by David Ferris ISBN: 978-1-61890-7585 Published in the United Sates by Saint Benedict Press, LLC PO Box 410487 Charlotte, NC 28241 www.SaintBenedictPress.com Printed and bound in the United States of America

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Welcome to Doors of Mercy By participating in this study, you’ve taken a significant step towards not only receiving God’s mercy in a deeper way, but also understanding it in the context of salvation history. While this knowledge is always important, it is especially timely in light of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis called to begin on December 8, 2015 the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Throughout the Jubilee Year, and beyond, it is important to understand the true nature and power of God’s mercy. This Jubilee Year is important because special indulgences, promises and graces are attached to it in a way rarely seen before in the history of the Church. Together with your fellow parishioners, or in the privacy of your own home, this eight-part study will walk you through the various covenants God has made with humanity, and show you how He used these covenants to gradually reveal the depths of His mercy. You’ll embark on a journey that begins with the story of Creation and the Fall of Man, and continues through the times of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and the coming of the promised Savior. You’ll discover how God forgave the sins of humanity time and time again, and how His covenants and merciful love were all a part of a divine plan of salvation. At the conclusion of the study, you’ll be introduced to St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy message and devotion, where we’re given a special window into the depths of God’s loving compassion for each and every one of us. We hope you’ll enjoy this journey to see how it all relates, how the distant covenants made with the Old Testament figures finds its fulfillment in Christ and His Church, and how the Divine Mercy message and devotion gives us a chance to transform our daily lives. You’ll come to know the heart of God in new and profound ways, so that you will find healing, forgiveness, peace, and joy.

Conor Gallagher, Publisher 3

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Doors of Mercy Exploring God’s Covenant with You C O N T EN T S Understanding Your Guide .......................................................................................6

A blueprint to using your Study Guide throughout the program

Lesson Plan...................................................................................................................9

An outline for the structure and order of each lesson

An Introduction to Doors of Mercy .......................................................................10

Understanding God’s Plan

Lesson 1 .......................................................................................................................15 Adam and Eve: Promise

After the Fall, God promises a Savior

Lesson 2 .......................................................................................................................27 Noah: Restoration

God must cleanse the world and begin anew

Lesson 3 .......................................................................................................................39 Abraham: Faith

God chooses a faithful man to be the father of His people

Lesson 4 .......................................................................................................................51 Moses: Inheritance

God guides His people back to the Promised Land

Lesson 5 .......................................................................................................................63 David: Dynasty

Through a shepherd boy, God establishes the blueprint for His Kingdom

Lesson 6 .......................................................................................................................75 The Prophets: Renewal

God calls the prophets to bring His people back to Him

Lesson 7 .......................................................................................................................87 Jesus: Salvation

God’s covenant is fulfilled and the promise realized in the coming of the Savior

Lesson 8 .......................................................................................................................99 St. Faustina: Divine Mercy

God’s message of mercy relayed by a simple nun

Supplemental Material ..........................................................................................111

What is Divine Mercy? Forms of the Devotion. About Saint Faustina

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR GUIDE A brief review of the components found in your guide to help you understand their purpose and role in the eight-part study

LESSON INTRODUCTION A short passage introduces each lesson. This passage is also a part of the video lecture. LESSON READINGS Each lesson is drawn from specific Scripture sources and portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Reading these before each lesson is optional, but can help you better understand and prepare for the lessons. The Scriptural texts come from the RSV-CE translation Lesson 8 is drawn from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul O P E N I N G & C L O S I N G P R AY E R Prayer is an integral part of every aspect of our lives, especially when embarking on a study like this. It helps to pray for the wisdom, energy, knowledge, and inspiration to understand God’s mercy, including the grace needed to change our lives by applying what we’ve learned. Before each session, pray the Opening Prayer to ready your mind, heart, and soul. When completing each session, close with the Our Father. VIDEO LESSON Embark on the first Video Lessons with host Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, where he will walk you through the covenants of the Old Testament and show you how salvation and redemption can only be achieved through God’s mercy. Key highlights are provided with room to take notes, which will help you with the group discussion that follows. WORDS TO KNOW Each lesson contains several key terms that would be helpful to know. SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION PART I: LESSON REVIEW These questions are to be discussed with your group to help you and gather deeper insights and ensure that you understand the key points form each lesson. PART II: LIFE APPLICATION These questions are posed to help you consider your own life and how the key points from each lesson apply to you. L I F E A P P L I C AT I O N V I D E O In the life application videos, various well-known Catholic scholars and personalities give their own insights and reflections to these deep and enriching questions. 6

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HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE? These brief passages help you to identify areas in your life where you can open doors of mercy for yourself and others. LIVING IT OUT After reading How Then Shall We Live? this section provides a brief period to pray about, discern, and write down the specific ways God is asking you to make changes in your life. GOD’S PLAN OF MERCY Each lesson contains a short summary noting how God’s actions in that particular time period moved His plan of salvation forward. PA RT I C I PA N T S E L F - S T U D Y A N D R E V I E W All items below are not a part of the group session, but are for your own benefit and review. WORDS OF WISDOM Spread throughout each lesson are various quotations and excerpts to help you understand the lesson and God’s mercy. These include:

y God’s Word – Scripture passages from the key moments of each session y From the Catechism – Supporting passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church y Saints on Mercy – Quotes from these holy men and women of the Church to help us understand the Lord’s abundant mercy

y The Popes Teach – Helpful insights and inspirational messages from encyclicals, homilies, and books written by holy fathers throughout the ages

SUGGESTED READING & SOURCES Each lesson contains a list of other titles and Scripture passages that you can read—either as part of the group session or on your own—to further your knowledge of God’s mercy and His various covenants. 7

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LESSON PLAN

A general outline for the structure and order of each lesson BE FO R E THE LESSO N - Review your Living It Out section from the prior lesson to consider ways you gave and received newfound mercy. - Encourage participants to review the optional Lesson Readings section - Read the Lesson Introduction. LE S S O N - Opening Prayer - Video Lesson – with host Fr. Jeffrey Kirby - Small Group Discussion _ Part I: Lesson Review _ Part II: Life Application Break - Life Application Video – interviews with Catholic scholars and experts - How Then Shall We Live? - Living It Out - God’s Plan Of Mercy - Closing Prayer A FTE R THE LE S SO N Review the self-study material, including Words to Know, Suggested Readings, and Words of Wisdom.

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Doors of Mercy An Introduction to

Mercy. How deeply we need it. Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for it—forgive us our trespasses—and in that same prayer, we promise to extend it to others, to all who trespass against us. Without mercy, our homes—and our hearts—quickly become cold, dark places. But mercy brings peace and solace and mends wounded or broken relationships. It opens a door back to friendship with our family, with our friends, and with God. God’s mercy is closer than we can imagine. The great Catholic writer, George Bernanos, spoke about God’s mercy this way: “scarcely has our sin gone out of us, and one look, a sign, a dumb appeal suffices for grace and pardon to swoop down, as an eagle from topmost skies.” Bernanos is right. God’s mercy is as close as prayer. It’s as close as the sacraments. Baptism cleanses us of sin and makes us children of God; the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, nourishes and restores our souls; and Reconciliation ensures His mercy is as close as the door to the confessional. The Bible speaks of God’s mercy and loving kindness, and His steadfast goodness to all who call upon Him. As we’ll see, the Bible itself is the story of God extending mercy, from Adam and Noah, to Abraham and Moses, to David and Israel, to all His people. But God’s mercy is much more than forgiveness of our sins. Mercy is God’s very nature. It is the overflowing of His loving kindness. It is Christ Himself saying, “Come to Me” (Mt 11:28). Bringing us this mercy was not easy; it required a plan, a rescue plan if you will. It was a rescue plan set in motion at the very dawn of creation, one that has unfolded over countless generations and thousands of years. Over the next eight sessions, we’re going to explore this rescue plan in depth. But let’s spend a few minutes now on an overview of God’s plan of mercy. When God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, it wasn’t because He was lonely. It wasn’t because He needed servants. God needed nothing. In His inner life, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, God Himself is the fullness of life and love. But goodness desires to share itself, and fullness overflows, and so God created man to share in His happiness. He created us for friendship. Yet because of His great love, He does not force that friendship upon us, but gives us free will to accept or reject it. Adam and Eve, tempted by the serpent, lost that friendship. They lost it through disobedience, choosing themselves over God. It was the single greatest disaster in human history, bringing, as the poet Milton said, “death into the world, and all our woe.” But at that very moment God’s plan of mercy began. At its heart was another man, a new Adam, who would not fail the test of friendship. A man who would be obedient no matter the price, and whose obedience would bring not death to the world, but life. 10

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At His side would be another woman, a new Eve. A woman who would never for a single instant listen to the serpent and who would crush the serpent’s head. God promised Adam and Eve that man’s relationship with Him would be restored. He promised a new Adam—a Savior and King of Mercy—who would bring His Kingdom to the very ends of the earth, and who would smash the very gates of hell. But the serpent also heard this promise, and he would not let God’s plan of mercy be enacted without a fight. The devil continued to tempt and attack the descendants of Adam and Eve. He corrupted the world to such an extent that finally only one righteous man, Noah, and his family remained. As the devil pressed his attack against this last beleaguered family, God acted powerfully to bring His plan forward. God brought Noah and his family to the safety of the ark, then wiped the world clean in the Flood. After the Flood, the devil would again corrupt the world. He led it into idolatry, away from the knowledge of God. But again God rescued a just man, Abraham, and his household. God would make Abraham the father of His people, and the land He gave Abraham would become the seat of His kingdom. Years and centuries followed as God’s plan of mercy still awaited fulfillment. Abraham’s descendants were not yet safe, with threats that included slavery and persecution in Egypt, a generation of wandering in a lifeless desert, war from tribes and peoples who defied God’s covenants, captivity in Babylon, and finally, oppression by Rome. But as we will see, none of these threats and attacks were able to overcome God’s plan, and at the very moment when the devil thought he had claimed his final victory, when he thought he had nailed shut the doors of mercy forever, God’s plan of mercy was fulfilled. The new Adam had passed the test of obedience and brought life and mercy to the world. Friends, God’s plan of mercy was definitively won by the death and Resurrection of Jesus. By the Cross, the serpent was silenced. Though questions still remain. Will we ask for and accept His mercy? Will we extend it to others? Will we work with Him, or against Him, in bringing His plan of mercy to the ends of the earth? Will we leave behind our sins and burdens, our anxieties and frustrations, our temptations and fears, and walk with Him? This is what we must consider in the coming sessions as we prepare to walk through Doors of Mercy. 11

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PR AYE R O F HIS HO LIN ESS PO PE F R A N C I S FOR THE E XTRA O RD IN A RY J U B I L EE O F MER C Y

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

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LESSON 1

Adam & Eve:

Promise

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

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DOORS Study Guide

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MERCY

LE S S O N I N T R O D U C T I O N

The story of God’s covenant is the story of His love for us. He created Adam and Eve out of His abundant love. He made them a beautiful home, and offered them an intimate union with Him. In the Garden, there was no pain, sadness, or death—there was love and harmony, beauty and grace. It was a place that possessed such miraculous perfection we can scarcely imagine it today. But Adam and Eve fell to the temptations of the serpent; they allowed their minds to be clouded by doubt and suspicion, and chose themselves over God. This Fall from grace led humanity astray, and we lost our way in the darkness. God could’ve abandoned us to sin and chaos. But instead He entered into the chaos and offered mercy. Even though His children had turned away from Him, He continued to love them and gave them a promise —a Savior would come to reconcile humanity to Himself.

LESS O N R E A D IN G S Reading these before each lesson is optional, but can help you better understand and prepare for the lessons. Genesis 1–3 CCC 279–421

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LESSON

1

O P E N IN G P R AY ER

Good and gracious God, You created us in your loving kindness, and have called us to yourself. You desire to be with us and lead us out of darkness and sin into your own wonderful light. Forgive us our sins and open your doors of mercy to us. Help us always to live joyfully in your life of grace and to seek you above all things. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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DOORS Study Guide

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VIDE O LE S S O N 1 : A d a m & Eve It is now time to embark on the first Video Lesson, hosted by Fr. Jeffrey Kirby. Key highlights of his talk are below, with room to take notes for assisting with group discussion. _ God offered the first covenant to Adam and Eve

_ The Sabbath is the sacred sign of the covenant

_ The Fall from grace

Saints on Mercy So what moves you to show us such mercy? After all, you owed us no such debt—in fact, we ourselves are sinful and wicked debtors! Nor did you have any need for us. No—you showed us your mercy purely because of your love. —St. Catherine of Siena (Siena, The Dialogue, 25)

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LESSON

1

_ Consequences of the Fall

_ The Promise of a Savior

W O RD S TO KN O W Concupiscence – an inclination to sin caused by the Fall in which the senses no longer obey reason and are attracted by the allure of evil Covenant – a solemn, family-forming agreement between God and His people in which God offers His people promises and calls them to live according to his law Homo Pontifex – the term used for humanity, indicating the human person’s role as natural priest who brings God to creation and creation to God Original Justice – the innocent state of humanity before the Fall from grace Sabbath – In the Bible, this refers to the day of rest that God established after His six days of creation. The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew word sabat, which means “to stop, cease, or to keep.” 19

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DOORS Study Guide

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SMA LL G RO UP D IS CUS S IO N PART I: LESSON REVIEW 1. Describe the first covenant God made with humanity. For Adam and Eve, the mediators, what was the work they were given as a part of the covenant? What was the sacred sign of the covenant?

2. How was humanity different before the Fall from grace?

3. What were some of the consequences of the Fall?

4. What was the merciful response God made to Adam and Eve’s disobedience?

From the Catechism After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium (“first gospel”): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers. —CCC, 410

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LESSON

1

PART II: LIFE APPLICATION 1. Where can we see consequences of the Fall in our own lives and the world around us?

2. Where and how has our human fallenness brought tension or darkness into the holy bond of marriage or our other close relationships?

3. What lesson can we learn and live from God’s action—His mercy—to our first parents?

LI FE A P P LIC ATIO N VIDEO After breaking from your Small Group Discussion, return to watch the second video session where well-known Catholic scholars and personalities answer the very same questions you just discussed with your groups.

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DOORS Study Guide

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HO W T H EN SH A L L WE L I V E?

Read with your group to assist in the Living It Out portion of the lesson.

After the Fall, Adam and Eve were the beneficiaries of God’s mercy. He showed them loving kindness and compassion by giving them the promise of a Savior. Through this, they received hope. This is the story of our own lives, too. We fall into sin and darkness day after day. We listen to the unseen serpent hanging from the branch just above our head, believing his lies that we can become our own gods. Once we then turn to eat the forbidden fruit, we, like Adam and Eve, turn to blame others, or try to hide from what we have done. Thankfully, the fact that we stumble and fall is not the only way we’re like our first parents; we also share with Adam and Eve in this promise of a Savior. In this promise lay their hope; in it also is our hope, for it is in Jesus, the promised Savior, that we find redemption from our sins. Through Christ, God gives us great hope that we can live better lives, become better people, and reflect more of His love and kindness in our world. In Him, we have great hope for salvation and eternal life. In particular, the virtue of hope can sustain and heal marriages that are wounded, hurting, stretched, or near collapse. Hope can lead married people to begin to (or to better) cherish one another, and to guard and value their marital bond. By its very nature, hope promises a better future, and in doing so, it remedies the turmoil you face in the present, and allows you to let go of the anguish in your past. In other words, hope leads to mercy and forgiveness, because without the promise of a brighter and more peaceful future, we cling tightly to the pain of our present and past. Hope can also be the catalyst for giving and receiving mercy in our relationships with: children, siblings, extended family members, employers/employees, fellow parishioners, and people in our neighborhoods. Let us commit from today onward that we will spread hope everywhere we go, knowing that when seeds of hope are planted, mercy blossoms. Let us commit to do everything in our power to mend the broken relationships of our lives, especially our relationship with God and those closest to us, by receiving and fostering mercy. 22

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LESSON

1

LI VIN G IT O UT On your own, spend 3–5 minutes praying, discerning, and writing down the specific ways God might be calling you to make changes in your life. Share and discuss afterwards only if you feel comfortable doing so.

Consider this week how God is calling you to… _ Give and receive mercy:

_ Increase hope in the lives of those around you:

_ Alleviate bitterness and tension in your close relationships:

The Popes Teach In this way, in Christ and through Christ, God also becomes especially visible in His mercy; that is to say, there is emphasized that attribute of the divinity which the Old Testament, using various concepts and terms, already defined as “mercy.” Christ confers on the whole of the Old Testament tradition about God’s mercy a definitive meaning. Not only does He speak of it and explain it by the use of comparisons and parables, but above all He Himself makes it incarnate and personifies it. He Himself, in a certain sense, is mercy. To the person who sees it in Him—and finds it in Him— God becomes “visible” in a particular way as the Father who is rich in mercy. —Pope St. John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia 23

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DOORS Study Guide

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G O D ’ S PL A N O F MER C Y

In these first chapters of Genesis, God laid the groundwork for His plan of mercy, promising a Savior who would one day come to make right the error of our first parents. From here, God’s plan will play itself out through the ages. In the centuries following Adam and Eve, humanity spiraled into darkness and sin, and God’s plan required a washing of the earth. But before the flood waters overtook the land, He saved a righteous man named Noah, setting him and his descendants aside so that the promised Savior could come.

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LESSON

1

God’s Word I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. —Genesis 3:15

CLO S IN G P RAYE R When completing each session, close with the Our Father. SO UR C E S

Genesis 1–3 Romans 5:12–21 1 Corinthians 15:45–49 Revelation 22:1–3 Catechism of the Catholic Church 279–421 S U G G EST ED R EA D I N G

Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Cincinnati: Servant Books, 1998. Scott Hahn, Kinship by Covenant, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Joseph Ratzinger, In the Beginning, London: Burns and Oates, 2013. Robert Stackpole, Divine Mercy: A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI, 2008.

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Leader Resources

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Doors of Mercy Leader Resources We make it easy to plan, promote and run your Doors of Mercy study with these helpful Leader Resources. Find these at MercyStudy.com or call us for assistance. Easy Step-by-Step Leader Checklist Whether you’re an experienced Leader or just getting started, the Leader checklist makes it easy to breeze through the process with this overview guide for planning and running the program. Explanation of the Jubilee Year Video (4 minutes) This video gives a brief but thorough explanation of the Jubilee Year, its meaning and purpose, and the relevance for every Catholic. This is a valuable tool to show at Mass, between Masses, in group meetings, to parish staff, catechists, etc. This engaging, pastoral video helps articulate the purpose of the Jubilee Year and includes a call of action for every Catholic to participate. Sample Bulletin Announcement Let parishioners know when your sessions are running and invite them to join in. Pulpit Announcements for Masses These sample announcements can be customized as needed and minimize the work you have to do to create an informative and engaging message. 11" x 17" Informational Wall Posters These posters contain editable fields to customize time and place of the programs. Put these up around the parish to drive registration and tell people the time and place to meet. 8.5" x 11" Customizable Flyers Use these flyers to get the word out to your parish, with an editable field for your parish’s own unique program information. Informational Emails We prepare these for you to send to your parishioner list to inform and invite others to the program. Invitation Cards Use these cards to invite people to participate in or even help coordinate the program. Leader’s Guide to “Forming An Effective Core Team” Tips on how to recruit and coordinate those roles to ensure a successful study. Plus a guide for each role like Small Group Leader, Hospitality Coordinator, etc. and the importance to the team. Information Session Guide This simple guide enables anyone to easily run a session to introduce the program between Masses, during meetings, or whenever people gather. Registration Forms and Attendance Sheets Informational Banners 3' x 8' indoor/outdoor vinyl full-color banner announcing Doors of Mercy at your parish. 3' x 6' vertical indoor Doors of Mercy stand up banner for registration, promotion and use at sessions. Course Completion Certificate Participants can earn a course completion certificate. Credit hours can be assigned for catechist Continuing Education.

MercyStudy.com Saint Benedict Press • PO Box 410487 • Charlotte, NC 28241 TOLL FREE 800.437.5876 • FAX 815.226.7770 • CustomerService@SaintBenedictPress.com

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Invitation Card 33

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My Mercy Checklist Mercy is love’s second name. Mercy looks at the trouble of others and cares, acts, forgives, and perseveres. Mercy is “the greatest attibute of God.” —Pope John Paul II, Rich in Mercy, 1981 Check all below that apply to you today. This checklist is for you to keep and review at the end of the Doors of Mercy program. I want to understand God and His mercy more than I do today. I’m not sure there is a way to really know God better. I’d like learn ways to receive more hope and healing for the wounds I carry. I need to forgive myself for something in my past. I don’t know what a covenant has to do with my marriage and friendships. How can I be forgiven for the things that I’ve done? I want to know God more personally and more intimately. I’d like to better understand the purpose of the sacrament of Reconciliation. I know and love God, and want to spend more time focusing on Him. There are people who I haven’t fully forgiven. I’d like to understand how God’s justice relates to God’s mercy. I’m afraid that God is angry with me or may punish me. It’s a challenge for me to fully trust God with my life. I don’t understand how Adam and Eve relate to my life today. I’d like to know more about Divine Mercy and St. Faustina. I feel like something is missing in my life and I’m ready to find it. I want to trust God more when things aren’t going right in my life. I’d like to better understand God’s covenant with me. I’d like to learn about the promise of the Divine Mercy devotion to renew my soul. God feels close at times but distant at others. I’d like to know why. Sometimes I don’t offer mercy to others when I could. I wonder if God could fully and completely forgive me. Would He even want to? It’s very difficult to fully forgive those who have deeply hurt me. If you’ve checked some of the boxes above, Doors of Mercy will provide you with a transformational experience that could be life-changing. Join together with your community of faith in this special Jubilee Year of Mercy. 800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com

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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


8 LIFE-CHANGING SESSIONS

Registration

Invite your friends! Parish ______________________________________________________________________ Address _____________________________________________________________________ City ____________________________________________ State _____ Zip ____________

Sessions Start Date

Day of Week

Time

Type of Group

Feb 4

Wednesday

7 pm

Religious Ed parents and all

Example 1)

_________ _______________

__________ ________________________

2)

_________ _______________

__________ ________________________

3)

_________ _______________

__________ ________________________

4)

_________ _______________

__________ ________________________

___ I am a parishioner at this parish

___ I am not a parishioner at this parish

Name ________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________ State _____ Zip ____________ E-mail ______________________________________ Current Plan for Study:

____ Will attend sessions (highly encouraged for maximum benefit!) ____ Can only participate virtually (internet access needed for streaming video)

____ I understand that my registration includes: 1) my Doors of Mercy Study Guide, and 2) access for myself to Streaming Video of the video lessons I’m interested in offering my gifts in these roles: ____ Coordinating (list role) ________________________ ____ Coordinating (list role) ________________________ ____ Helping with (list role) ________________________ ____ Helping with (list role) ________________________

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Phone ___________________

Registration Cost: $ _________ Paid by Check # ________________________ Credit card type ___________________ CC # ___________________ Exp Date ______ Sec Code _______ Cash _______________________

800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


Doors of Mercy Information Session 1. Welcome and Opening Prayer (3 minutes) LEADER: Welcome! Thank you for joining us. We’re here to spend a few minutes to learn about what our parish is doing to celebrate the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis declared for the whole Church. Our parish-wide initiative is an 8 week program called Doors of Mercy. So we’ll talk a bit about what it is and how it can change our lives. Let’s begin with a prayer as we ask God for His grace and mercy on all of us gathered here, for our needs and for our families… Use the following prayer from Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year or another prayer related to mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you, sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. @ Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2015

800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com

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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


2. Introducing the Video Segments (5 minutes)

Page 2

Hand out copies of the Invitation card and Mercy checklist to each Participant. Have extras for people who want to give them to others. LEADER: To begin, we will view two short videos that explain the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. We’ll have an opportunity to think about the ways we need mercy from God and from others, and about God’s remarkable love and mercy for us. Our last video will explain how a parish program called Doors of Mercy: Exploring God’s Covenant with You reveals how God has repeatedly treated His people with mercy and how He specifically wants to pour out His mercy to you. The whole universal Church is focusing this year on Mercy and our parish/group is taking part in that. There will be an opportunity for you to register for the Doors of Mercy program that our parish is offering. After these short videos, we will have time for your questions.

3. View the Video Segments (7 minutes) View the “About the Jubilee” Videos and Doors of Mercy Sample Lesson Video.

4. Study Registration (6 minutes) Hand out the Doors of Mercy registration forms. These are ready-made for you at MercyStudy.com with editable fields to easily type in your parish info before printing out. Encourage people to register for Doors of Mercy. LEADER: In eight engaging video sessions, expert presenters guide us through God’s loving plan for your life, and provides helpful advice on how to find mercy and share mercy with others. These videos feature a teaching segment as well as a reflection segment with insights from well-known Catholic experts about how God’s mercy has affected their own lives. Group discussion moves from the foundational teaching to the life application aspects of the program. We create a personal action plan to actually live out what we discern God is asking of us to receive healing, forgiveness and peace. Briefly review the Table of Contents here. We will be offering this study starting [DATE] on [DAYS] at [TIMES].

800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com

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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


5. Question and Answer Session (6 minutes)

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This is the perfect time for the pastor, deacon or DRE to add any brief comments about the importance of mercy and explain about the parish’s celebration of the Jubilee Year and other events that may be happening. LEADER: God desires to pour out His mercy on each one of us. Now is the time for mercy, for you and me and for our loved ones. Doors of Mercy provides a special time of focus on God and how to experience Him more deeply. We invite you to join us for an unparalleled experience. Bring your loved ones to experience this with us. Refer to the FAQs on the website, as needed.

6. Action Plan (2 minutes) LEADER: We’re asking three things. 1. Receive the gift that God is waiting to give you in this Year of Mercy. Register now for one of the sessions listed on your registration form and turn it in here if possible. 2. Consider using your talents to lead or help with one of the roles needed to run the program. 3. Go out and invite your friends and loved ones to attend with you. Invite people who are coming to Mass as well as those who might only rarely or never come. God has a plan for each one of us and He uses our ‘yes’ to reach others with His love. Visit MercyStudy.com for more information.

7. Logistics Let attendees know any logistics needed. How to hand in their registration, etc.

8. Closing Prayer (1 minute) LEADER: Thank you for coming. Let’s pray in thanksgiving for what God is giving us in His mercy. For the Leaders, for the participants, and for those who are considering joining us. Close with a prayer you choose or use the Our Father.

800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com

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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com


Learn More at MercyStudy.com

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800-437-5876 • MercyStudy.com

Doors of Mercy Flipbook  

Everything you need to preview DOORS of MERCY: Two full lessons, and 10 pages of resources for starting your program!

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