Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Today, in Mercy, the reading from Acts gives us high drama drawn from real-life events. Paul and Silas, singing hymns and praying after their torture, are sprung from prison chains by God’s power in the form of an earthquake. It’s movie material!
But how does it apply to our lives? Are there chains holding us back from the fullness of our spiritual life? Unredeemed sorrows, cherished vengeances, life-sapping addictions, self-absorbed agendas – so many poor choices can block us from freedom and amazement in God! Let’s pray today for our own little earthquakes. Let’s acknowledge the chains and pray for them to break even if it shakes our world up a bit!
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the feast of St. Athanasius who lived in 4th century Egypt. During his lifetime, the Church struggled with the heresy of Arianism which questioned whether Jesus was really God. Athanasius was named a Doctor of the Church for his steadfast defense of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ. Some of Athanasius’s writings are suggestive of the theology of our great modern theologians, and so necessary for our spirituality today.
The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. (Pope Francis-Laudato Sí, 84)
If we live at a distance from God, the universe remains neutral or hostile to us. But if believe in God, immediately all around us the elements, even the irksome, organize themselves into a friendly whole, ordered to the ultimate success of life. (Pierre deChardin, SJ – Christianity and Evolution)
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Today, in Mercy, Philip kind of puts his foot in his mouth. He tells Jesus, “Show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Oh, really? Is that all, Philip? It seems like that might be enough for just about anybody, don’t you think?
And Jesus sticks it to Philip a little, “Have I been so long with you and yet you do not know Me? The Father and I are one.”
We might hear Jesus’ question echo in our hearts. Has God been with us throughout our lives and we are still slow to recognize His Presence? Do we need to wake up like Philip in order to see the face of God in nature, in our loved ones, in the joys and sorrows of our life, in all Creation? Has God already shown us more than enough to help us love and believe in Him? Maybe, blushing a little like Philip, we just need to say, “Thank You!”
Friday, April 13, 2018: Today, in Mercy, Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes. This is the only miracle, other than the Resurrection, that is recorded in all four Gospels.
Jesus teaches us, in the story of the loaves and fishes, that the ordinary bread of our lives is the stuff of miracles. What makes the difference between Stroehmann’s and the Supernatural is FAITH! When we really believe we are marked for eternal life, our whole perspective changes. It takes courage to believe, but if we can, multitudes will be nourished by our faith! You know what I’m saying. Hasn’t the faith of your ancestors nourished you and all the generations in between? Hasn’t the witness of the saints, both canonized and known only to us, anchored our souls through many a storm? Be holy bread for your world, dear friends! ( Lovely song from Joe Wise for your prayer.)
We exist in the infinite embrace of God’s mercy. In mercy, we all were created. In mercy, we all live. In mercy, we all have the hope of eternal life.
The lavish mercy of God pours over us in every sunrise and sunset, in every noon and midnight. With every breath, we draw on mercy. With every thought, we capture its spirit and turn it to our hope. The gift of such divine power in us calls us to lavish mercy with our own lives, to be agents of mercy in all things.
This journal is offered as an act of thanksgiving and celebration for that lavish mercy. It is a gathering of reflections and prayers which sift through our ordinary experience to seek the breath-giving grace of God awaiting us there.
My name is Renee Yann. I am a Sister of Mercy. I love to chase God through the bright blessing of words. I love to discover words in the dark blessing of silence. It is a joy to share with you the humble fruit of those mutual blessings.
Our entire theological tradition is expressed in terms of Mercy,
which I define as the willingness to enter into the chaos of others.
James F. Keenan, S.J.