HOPE spring 2016 — mercy
“You persistently encourage us to build not destroy, … to have mercy towards the one we see as least deserving or the one who has hurt us deeply and to love, love, love and love more.” Sister Denise Wilkinson dares us to look more deeply at mercy in our lives.
“I had a student just yesterday that came to me sobbing with a note that read, ‘I wish you were dead. Nobody likes you. Here are some ways you could kill yourself: drink bleach, starve to death or slash your wrists. Go kill yourself,'” said Providence Associate Lorrie Scheidler, a middle school guidance counselor in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Saint Mother Theodore once said, “Treat yourself as you treat others, with kindness and indulgence.” I firmly believe that, above all, to comfort oneself or another involves being gentle with oneself or another. It means allowing grief to be a teacher who reminds us that we are wired for resilience. We are meant to find meaning and purpose in life.
When my faith is shaken, please God, remind me of your love for me.
When I am lonely, help me to reach out and share my feelings with others.
When I am stuck in memories of the past, give me the graces I need to forgive and be forgiven.…
“Our clients always speak words of gratitude,” Sister Joseph said. “That’s really a very uplifting feeling. This is unconditional love. That’s mercy. We see Christ in these people. We try to help in any way we can.”
As we focus on mercy in this issue of HOPE, several Sisters of Providence answer the question, “What is one way to show mercy to Earth?”
Go to your preferred place of prayer. Spend some quiet time with the questions below. Let yourself relax. Know that God’s Spirit of love and mercy holds you close in this moment.
“As Pope Francis has spoken so many times, at least the way that I understand it, mercy is shown by reaching out to people where they are and not waiting for them to come to you. So in a way, it is to be alert to the needs of someone. The need to be loved, to be accepted, to be important. I think Pope Francis’ approach to a year of mercy has again called people to be more aware, more alert, to that,” said Providence Associate Daniel Hopcus, the priest chaplain at Saint Mary-0f-the-Woods.
Forgiveness is a process, and a slow one at that. We cannot rush forgiveness. If we do it becomes insincere. It takes time, patience and mercy and it is never an easy journey to make.
Let us gather up the tears of all times, all nations,
all peoples, all children to form a river of grace
to moisten, saturate, drench the hardness of hearts of stone
turning them into hearts of flesh, into the heart of the God of Providence.…
“… Be assured that in leaving the past to the mercy of God and the future to (God’s) Providence, you will derive from your offering very great peace and very great consolation.”
Provident God, aware of our own brokenness,
we ask the gift of courage
to identify how and where we are in need of conversion
in order to live in solidarity with all Earth’s people.…
pervasive pattern repeating
itself through the ages
a rippling effect on relationship
at every level …
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