Saturday, October 18, 2014

Finding Mercy in Jesus

Mercy has been a topic of much discussion recently.

Sometimes it seems like we're trying to put "mercy" in a box and dole it out according to our own measure. This is an effort that cannot succeed, and it's just as well because our measure is so meager.

The mercy of other people is at best a sign and an instrument of the ineffable, overflowing mercy of God.

I trust in His mercy, because He knows me. In His mercy He knows the undying thirst of my soul; He knows my heart's longing in a way that I don't even begin to understand. I trust in Him to lead me to my destiny.

I trust in His mercy to give me what I need (because I don't know what I need -- I don't really know my true self). I trust in His mercy also to break off from me the things that keep me from attaining the real fulfillment for which I have been made, which is nothing else but Him.

I trust His tenderness and His gentleness, which endure even when all other affirmations or consolations are absent and I feel abandoned and alone. In this solitude I can only cry out to Him and long for Him in the firm conviction that He hears me, He wants me, and that the darkness and emptiness are the vast spaces of the mystery of His inexhaustible Heart that holds me.

He knows who I am, and He carries me in my suffering and accompanies me through all its depths. He has made those depths His own. His mercy is His brokenness on the Cross which He invites me to share.

The best way we can show mercy to one another is to help bear one another's burdens, to open our hearts to the mystery of the other person's suffering. This is what we need from one another. It is the way that we can discover the presence of Jesus in every person's life, not with condescension but with a great reverence for the person.

I must welcome this person, because this person is loved by Jesus. It is the great heart of Jesus that gives value and dignity to every person and to all our relationships. Whenever I speak to a person, my words should be shaped by the desire that Jesus come more fully to us both -- to heal us in His mercy and draw us together along the paths of His mercy.

As Pope Francis says, "We cannot trust in our own strength, but only in Jesus and in His mercy." Indeed, our strength is much too small to fathom the mercy of God. Our strength is too frail to bear His weakness on the cross.

Jesus, teach me to be merciful.
Have mercy on me.
Make me an instrument of Your mercy.

Jesus, I trust in You.