It is like the whole world is 'permeated' by mercy, and God is the one "who loves us first, who invites us, exhorts us, urges us to seek him and to be converted to him. This God of love and mercy runs after us when we leave him, follows us with an indescribable love, and begs us never to separate ourselves from the one who seeks us with such urgency." (OC VIII:55-56)
This is how God is; this is what we are called to live, in the footsteps of Jesus:
"Only if we experience this healing power first-hand in our own wounds, as people and as a body (community), will we lose the fear of allowing ourselves to be moved by the immense suffering of our brothers and sisters, and will we hasten to walk patiently with our people, learning from them the best way of helping and serving them". (Pope Francis to the GC of the Jesuits, on 24 October 2016)
Mercy is not rooted in us, but rather in the Heart of God, and in him alone. Only God is mercy. In us, mercy is always welcomed, in our frailty. If we want to share it, we must first draw it from where it is, and let it germinate in our lives.
The Constitutions of Our Lady of Charity (1990) mention the primary commitment concerning the fourth vow: “contemplate in the Heart of Christ and of His Mother, the Mercy God shows to each of His children, especially to those so easily looked down upon..." (NDC 36). To contemplate, we need to leave ourselves, to fix our gaze on Jesus, discover in Him the God of mercy who never tires of loving us, loving each one of his children; and welcoming him into our hearts, into our lives, to "be transformed in his image and likeness" (2 Cor 3:18).
Like the Heart of Mary, our heart too can be invaded by the Heart of God to be transformed into his mercy. In fact, the whole of humanity is called to this transformation. As in the first Christian community, the spirit of mercy should forge a new style of relations between men and women, as highlighted by JPII in 1980 in his Encyclical on Mercy. For this, John Eudes invites us to "give ourselves to Jesus, to enter into the immensity of his great Heart": We will also receive the strength to 'change our heart': "Don't just love God with your human heart" said John Eudes. "This is too little a thing, this is nothing. But love him with all the love of your great Heart. "
We need a 'new vision of charity' (Letter of JPII for the 3rd Millennium). Mercy must fertilize our wounded world, to transform people and systems. Pope Francis, in 'Laudato Sí', evoked in a different way this creative imagination which must be put into practice, when he insisted on the interconnections which exist across all levels, and which are too often overlooked: "Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor." (49).
Today, in the world such as it is, traversed by many contradictions and violence, more than ever mercy is a task that has to be achieved, a task which is rooted in the experience of having welcomed mercy into your life. … to be continuted
given to the Sisters preparing for Final Vows in 2018
by Sr Marie Francoise Le Brizault