01 February 2016

On Entering a Season of Mercy.

Lent begins just over a week. In early December, the Catholic Church entered the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a year to focus, reflect, and celebrate the great mercy of our God. 
Different pieces of life around me are entering new seasons of mercy. 

Mercy. Such a simple word, but yet complex and rich with meaning. The coming 40 days of Lent are a time to examine our hearts and minds under the light of God's mercy. I know I am entering a season of mercy. I find myself deeply searching my heart and asking God to illuminate the broken, unmerciful parts of my heart, especially as I go through the divorce and annulment process.

I feel the word mercy is one of those spiritual concepts where we mentally get on some level. But the translation of that from our head to heart, is often not so easily understood. I can theologically explain God's mercy, but I don't always show it to myself or other people around me. I cannot be merciful to others until I experience the mercy of the Father in my own life. And oh how I need it.

I need God's mercy to cover every area of my life:
  • to break my self-righteous, judgmental heart
  • reveal my selfishness and pride
  • break the desire to want to blame and shame
  • when I think I better than other people
  • bring to light my resentment and anger
  • to be able to lavishly pray from heart for those who have hurt or misunderstood me
I want my life to live out of an abundance of God's mercy--not scarcity.

I need grace to be able to show and extend mercy to my husband, to pray for his well-being, healing, and wholeness even as we begin to separate our lives. I refuse to let bitterness and angry to color the way I look at him. I cannot hold him fully responsible for our marriage ending. 

I need grace to be able to pray from the heart for his parents, with whom at times its been difficult and felt hurt by their lack of support and encouragement in the middle of our pain. I am so grateful I took the time to write them a letter asking their forgiveness for ways I was harsh, judgmental, or unloving because of the pain I was experiencing. I want to show true mercy. 

God's timing is amazing and humbling all at the same time. All going on in my life is falling in this sacred year of mercy. I'm leading a group for World Youth Day to Poland and the theme is Mercy. In the middle of personal pain, confusion, and sadness God's mercy is all around me, swallowing me up whole. 

It is a time of mercy in life...
to lavishly show it to others and deeply experience it from God.

by offering more occasions during the week so that the faithful can go to confession and live the
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  1. Wow. Patty, this is so powerful and beautiful. I agree-we must first experience God's mercy so that we can show it to others. One year during Lent, I wrote a letter apologizing to a girl I had hurt years earlier-how I treated her was something that kept coming back to me randomly, and it was so freeing to take the time and experience that mercy & forgiveness with her! I will continue to pray for you as God takes you on this wild ride of mercy :)

  2. Mercy, as you say, is something that's hard to fully and deeply comprehend. Christ is our greatest example--hopefully we will all walk in the way of mercy this year.


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