Thursday, August 27, 2009

...that we might spend eternity with Him

Mercy is the gift of His life from our humble savior, that we might spend eternity with Him...
Wow, what an incredible thought. ...that we might spend eternity with him. I sometimes think, how is that going to be exactly - I can only picture the most beautiful places I've ever been, only better; and as loved as I have ever felt, only more; and as much love as I have ever given, only more than I realize I can give. Singing, Holy Holy Holy. And, humbly, I realize that this can only be a reality by the price our Lord paid on the cross, because he loves us so much.
Today in an e-mail was an urgent request for prayer, there has been a lot lately; but this one somehow stood out to me. It was a request from a mother, whose daughter was at the end of her life. She was simply asking prayers for her daughter's soul.
"My precious daughter is in the last few hours of her life. Please help us keep this vigil by praying for her soul. That Our Blessed Mother will take her to meet her Precious Son Jesus and her punishment will be remitted that she may go directly to Him, in Jesus name we pray. B"
This is poignant and beautiful, because in a mother's grief there was understanding. In her prayer there is faith, that when her daughter passes from this life "...that she might spend eternity with Him". And as any parent experiences, even though you cannot always follow your children where they are, there is trust in the Lord that they are in loving care of the Father. I realize that as my children get on the bus every day, I should be saying a little prayer, "Jesus, I trust in You"!
Please join me in praying for this mother and daughter, and for any other souls that may be passing from this life today...that they might spend eternity with Him.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mercy as "Pain"...

As the idea for a Divine Mercy Chaplet CD was just starting to come into my mind, it really started me thinking about how to describe mercy. I realized that it was more than forgiveness, and more than salvation, or I e-mailed many friends of mine and asked them a simple question, What is "Mercy", in your own words. The response was absolutely beautiful, that became the narration of our title track, "Mercy is/The Lord is kind and Merciful".

I would love to share and reflect on some of those answers here, and I have learned of something today that is a beautiful example.

Mercy is feeling the pain of loved ones...

Not too long ago I learned of a dear friend, an incredible Mother, who was battling cancer. A cancer that had returned, which required immediate surgery, and chemo following. I have faith, there is no question that I do, and I did not question that we need to pray for a miracle...but, it still saddened me. I was so upset at the thought of the pain that she and her beautiful family were going to endure. She has stayed in such wonderful spirits, and yet all I could think for a while is how much I did not want her or her family to suffer. As I watch her still today with immeasurable faith, and strength, and peacefulness; I am inspired by her faith.

Then this morning I learned of a young lady, a teenager; that out of love for our mutual friend has shaved her head bald. Completely gone. Not for any other statement than for her to say, "I love you". Not a rebellious act, or "insane" act of a teenager; just an expression of love. The pain of cancer, the emotional pain as well, is being felt by so many - and what a profound way for someone to say, I love you and support you. Feeling the "pain" of others is often not thought of in daily busy lives - but, the next time you feel "saddened" by the news of someones pain, consider their pain, and perhaps how you can help them overcome that pain, if even in the least through prayer.

What does the pain of others feel like?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Touch of Mercy

Shortly after reading the book "The Prison Angel", I learned of a fundraiser in San Diego to benefit the Eudist Servants of the 11th Hour, a religious order of followers of Mother Antonia that continue to do works of compassion, love, and mercy that Mother Antonia had started at La Mesa prison years before.

There we were, in beautiful San Diego, at a golf resort. I could not believe it, I was going to have a chance to say, "Thank you" to this increadible yet humble woman for helping me understand the message of compassion and mercy. I had brought a gift to give her. Out of appreciation I had done a simple graphite drawing of the cross that she had made to wear in the prison. A cross that simply shows the passion, and unity of all of God's children in it's simplicity of nails, and wire. A very good friend introduced us quickly to Mother Antonia before the evening began. I will never forget how delicately she held my face in her hands, and asked for God's blessing on my husband and I. She held "my" face with such love in her bright smile, I was overjoyed. These hands had held the faces of many. The faces of the poor, the faces of the hurt, the faces of prisoners... the face of Christ. Every face to Sister Antonia is loved as the face of Christ. And my cheeks were now experiencing that same Love, that same compassion, that same mercy.

When has someone's "touch" helped you understand mercy?

Monday, August 17, 2009

What is mercy?

This is a place to share what God's mercy is. Where do we see it, share it, receive it? It is at times beyond our comprehension, and yet a very simple word. A word I have heard all my life, and have just began to understand.

I was born at Mercy Hospital. At Mass growing up I have always heard, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy." I also had heard it or sung about mercy in the Psalms at Mass. So, it was a word that I could relate to from my experiences at church, "therefore", I had decided growing up, "mercy must be a good thing." So, thirty five years later I am learning how mercy is very much a part of our lives.

When I first started reading "The Prison Angel" by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, I had no idea the transformation my life was about to take.I had heard the word "mercy" so many times before, I had even taken a liking to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, but I had not realized that mercy is a very large part of living out our faith.

Authentic mercy that we share with our sisters and brothers, because it has been given to each of us when Jesus died for our sins on the cross. If we then receive and experience mercy to it's very core when we receive the sacraments, especially Reconciliation and Eucharist; we desire to share the fullness of that mercy because of our Love in Christ.

Through this wonderful book I learned about Mother Antonia and how she authentically and selflessly shares Mercy day after day, with a love that unless it is felt is hard to understand, and yet so beautifully expressed by her actions. Mother Antonia lives in a 10 x 10 concrete cell in the La Mesa Penitentiary, where she has lived for the past 30 years. Mother Antonia provides not only spiritual guidance to the guards and inmates, but she also helps with basic material comforts for the prisoners such as blankets, toiletries, and medicines.

It is my hope that our project Mercy is... will spread the message of the Lord's incomprehensible mercy, that needs to be shared, experienced, and expressed.