Today the Church, led by Pope Francis, begins a Jubilee Year of Mercy. In preparing to discuss this with students I spent a lot of time reading about and contemplating mercy.
Giving myself time to think about spirituality during a busy season was a gift. Reflecting on the past few years of illness and long-distance relationships and work and grief, it feels like I haven’t made time for such things.
So I went back to the blog archive and typed “mercy” into the search bar. I thought I could remember writing something about it once and I wanted to remember how I felt about this before everything began. I was shocked by what I found.
Mercy was everywhere. I had found it – and written it down – in meter maids, traffic cops, friends and colleagues, nurses and doctors, God’s voice, and even in myself. Post after post filled page after page, all examples of someone not being as hard on me as I was inclined to be. I guess I hadn’t forgotten it after all.
Though truly how could I forget such a thing? How dense would I have to be to miss the constant grace and tenderness lavished upon me? And who could I not, in such challenging years of learning, become more merciful myself as I realized the value of such tenderness and care?
For what it’s worth, I found the post I was looking for here, from early 2010:
Sometimes God makes this act of conversion, of re-directing our hearts, quite easy. But we all know that most of the time it is not. Pray for me as I will pray for you that we may prepare ourselves for that good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing. May we open our hearts to forgiveness and mercy, may we discipline ourselves to exercise caritas, and may we be abundant, wild and untamed in virtue and love.
Where do you find mercy?
Image: Logo for the Jubilee Year of Mercy