The of the Lenten Diocesan Mercy Nights took place March 13 at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples.

Catholics experience Holy Spirit in different ways

Sarasota  |  This Lenten Season the Diocese of Venice Office of Evangelization has been presenting an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord through Mercy Nights.

The evenings include praise and worship, music and Eucharistic Adoration all intended to lead participants to prepare their hearts in a particular way for the presence of the Lord. In that presence — through adoration, music and the opportunity to quiet reflection and the Sacrament of Reconciliation — it is hoped that the participants will receive the graces of the Lord as they open themselves up to the working of the Holy Spirit.

Joshua Mazrin, diocesan director of evangelization, organized the Lenten Mercy Nights, and spoke at the start of the March 20 gathering at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota. The music was presented by Out of Darkness, a Christian music couple from Panama City, Florida. Mazrin noted each person will experience the Holy Spirit in a way that will help them to worship and adore Jesus in the Eucharist in a deeper and more reflective way.

Their experience may be in a transformative way, “so that we can know the special and particular love that God, the Father has for each one of us,” he said. “This is very much a night when each one of you come into the presence of God — to allow him to touch you, or heal you, in whatever way you need.” 

Mazrin explained this experience is going to look different for each individual and that no one should compare their experience with others.

“God knows that there is something that you need which is different from others,” he added. “You may experience a healing revelation of peace and joy, or a restoration. The Lord knows the boundaries that need to be shattered. Focus on how the Lord is going to love you.”

Grace Harvey of St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota was looking for a way to enhance her Lenten journey and saw the Diocesan Mercy Nights as a good opportunity to try something different.

“This evening was so beautiful,” Harvey said. “I needed something to recharge me and the music and the adoration put me in the right place and I felt the Lord work within me. Then going to Confession sealed it for me.”

Mazrin hopes those who attend the Diocesan Mercy Nights bring all of their difficulties and burdens to the foot of the cross in Eucharistic Adoration, because hopefully the Lord will give them some inspiration and meaning for the things with which they struggle.