Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mercy is... for everyone

I love this narration on Mercy is/The Lord is kind and merciful... ! It is a very simple sentence, yet says really what our Lord's message of mercy is all about. This is why I had my youngest narrate this one sentence - it really takes a "childlike" attitude to really embrace these words. Throughout the years it is so interesting how the more we understand hurt, and opinion, and passion of our own ideas; the less open we are to sharing those ideas, or perhaps opening the door a glimpse for dialogue to happen.

This is a week of prayer for Christian unity. It's interesting living in the south, because I don't necessarily find it difficult to talk about faith here. In fact practically everywhere I go, from the grocery or post office, to a Dr.'s office; you can wish someone a "blessed day", and they don't look crazy at you. In fact, it is not unlikely to be approached with some kind of smile, or reference to our Lord and Savior, as I am walking to my car with the man at Publix. (They take your groceries and load them for you, no charge!)

However, the other side to that coin is the misconceptions that can arise from other denominations, and the other side to that dialogue...oh, your Catholic,...? Some think we are destined for hell if we not "really" baptized in their faith. I am happy to say though, that in most cases, this does not happen, and as Christian brothers and sisters of any denomination we share a true love for Christ, and His teachings; and I praise God for that.

Rather than get into an ecumenical debate however, my thoughts today have to do with sharing a simple prayer. When recording the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, I knew that it is a devotion, or meditative prayer, known largely in the Catholic faith. One that I have found much comfort in, many times over. I did not really think of it reaching interest beyond our faith.

Then one day while praying the chaplet, I realized how "ecumenical" it really is. It is a prayer uniting everyone on the same need of God's ocean of mercy. Of course this is the case! Just as the Creed is recited in many denominations, and the Our Father is universal as well, a prayer asking for mercy for "the whole world" is completely non-exclusive:

" for the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

Now, I have shared the CD with many christian friends, catholic and protestant alike, and many people of other denominations speak of the beauty of the Chaplet. In fact, one woman from our church purchased one to share with her brother, a minister of a protestant church. He shared with her how beautiful he felt it was, and was going to share it with his church I think at a prayer service.

So, I guess, we must look at our prayers sometimes with a childlike trust in God, and what He will do with those petitions. As adults, we may think with limitations, but God has no boundaries. Christian unity is possible, we just can't put "human" limits, or water it down so that there is no definition to it either. I do pray for Christian unity, that hearts will be opened up to an understanding of faiths, so that dialogue can happen, through the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Just my own thought on ecumenism. "Mercy is...for everyone."

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