It's Time for Mercy, Sisters.

+J.M.J.+



And so we begin in just one day this year of mercy, dedicated by our Holy Father Francis.  A push on the door to renew the unchanging call of Jesus to mercy and to love as the Father loves.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will turn my heart more to be like His.

"We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord's words: 'Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (cf. Lk 6:36)'"
Pope Francis

We stretch ourselves further to love, to be like Him, to see others as He does.  
The others.  
The ones we so often see as far from us, the ones unlike us, the ones for whom it is almost easy to offer mercy because they are so unlike us.  
But that mercy should extend - must extend - to our sisters in Christ.  
Mercy.  Mercy is needed for the ones close to us, too.  The ones we see and hear and read and are part of our community. 

It's for everyone - even the ones so much like us.
So I wonder...

Can we celebrate others' God given talents and gifts even if we don't possess them ourselves?  Can we keep from jealousy and name calling and tearing down simply because they do something well?

Can we extend grace to the sister who is struggling in ways that we do not struggle and know that God chooses the perfect cross for each of us to carry?  

Can we silence our mouths or our keyboards when we are tempted to divide or tear another down?

Can we assume good will even when things are poorly worded or a different viewpoint or even completely wrong?

"The call of Jesus pushes each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person.  We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see how much generosity everyone is capable."  

Pope Francis

Can we let go of our woundedness just a little bit to recognize that everyone may not be judging us?  In fact, they might not even be thinking about us at all?

Can we recognize the woundedness of the person who may really be judging us?  That maybe that's her sin that she struggles against daily and have mercy even on the judger?

Can we give and receive advice from a place of love and humility?  Can we admit we don't know it all and there is still much we need to learn?  

Can we allow others their opinion even if it is different from our own?  And can we admit when they may, in fact, be right?

Can we share our stories unbound by the chains of what others may think, seeking only His glory?  Can we give others the freedom to share theirs?

Can we reject the lie that mercy is indifferent to sin?

Can we remember how much we as women are hated by the one who hates Him?  That he will use whatever he can against us - even each other?

"No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one."
Pope Francis

Can we forgive that sister who has hurt us so?

Can we see the one who has been left out and reach out to her?  

Can we remember that each of us is called in a unique way to bring Christ to the world?  It might not be 'our' way and it may even rub us the wrong way but maybe we can admit that God wants to work in that way, too?

Can we be so busy bringing and being good to the world that we don't have time for finding the faults of others?

Can we keep from making that other the butt of our jokes or even daring to delight in their weakness?

Can we choose to be the bringer of peace in a world desperate for it, if only in our homes, our marriages, our friendships, our communities?  Even when the ability to divide and arouse suspicion is as close as a slip of the tongue or a movement of the keyboard?

Can we extend this great mercy to our husbands, our children, our babies, and our relatives?

"I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time."
Pope Francis


Can we really really live this mercy thing?  In the depths of our hearts, even to the ones closest to us in our families, social spheres, race, creed, or church?
Not on our own, never.  But with Him, can we?

If we let Him come, if we ask Him to come and live it through us, I think we can. 


The text of the homily announcing the Year of Mercy can be found here and the letter on the special graces extended during the Year of Mercy can be found here.  I very much encourage you to read it and see all the ways that our Holy Father is allowing and encouraging us to receive and give this great incredible gift of mercy.

Credit: L'Osservatore Romano

10 comments

  1. I really needed this today. I think I'm going to print it.

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    2. Sorry Mary! Great post...you've made the Year of Mercy come alive for me!

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  3. Fantastic post Mary!!!
    Clicking over to the link you shared now.

    Sharing/pinning!
    So inspirational and really made a great beginning to the whole Year of Mercy for me!

    I have to ask a really dopey question. I love the picture you created at the top of the post.....I thought I knew where those doors where...(Florence?We were there in '96) But I'm wrong bc Papa is pictured by them in your last photo and those are not the doors I'm thinking of. Where are these again? Thanks

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    1. Thank you! That's the Jubilee door at St. Peter's Basilica :) Not dopey at all...there's a bunch of holy doors all over but this is the official one, from what I understand.

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    2. Wow, beautiful! Thanks so much!!

      I'm going in search of even more pictures/info now!! After I left the comment, I remembered what I was thining they were: http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/Baptistery_of_florence.html
      At first glance that's what I thought.

      The doors in St P are gorgeous. Thanks for the info Mary.

      Havea wonderful day!

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