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.

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