Graced Horizons A journey through Mercy

This is the title of a book by Bishop Brendan Leahy. He explores many facets of Mercy as illustrated not only in scripture, but also highlights the merciful example set by several Christian writers and visionaries, including the medieval mystics Julian of Norwich and Meister Eckhart; and also Catherine McAuley and Edith Stein.

“What is Mercy? Mercy is having sympathy or compassion in a heartfelt manner. The biblical perspective on Mercy has a rich range of meanings. In telling the history of God’s dealings with humanity, the Bible presents us with a story of Mercy, the story of how God liberates us from sin, darkness and disunity. The opening chapters of the Bible offer a profound contemplation on the meaning and purpose of life. Their main message is clear: God’s mercy abounds in every moment of life—it’s written into our origins, our present situation and our destiny. Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, God humanised, is the full expression of God’s mercy. His mercy pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit, prompting us to show mercy to others. Mercy could be described as love to the maximum degree. When asked, who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in the course of his first interview, Pope Francis defined himself as a sinner, adding’ but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Mercy is the love of God poured into our hearts, prompting us to reach out concretely to those around us, especially those in need, such as the sick, the migrant, the prisoner, the bewildered…… God doesn’t give up on us. We may fail but God is always faithful. He leads us forward into the blessing He wants for us. God is at work in our lives. Perhaps we can’t see it but in his providential mercy he is preparing us for the mission he has in mind for us. Teresa of Avila’s prayers reflect trust in God’s mercy and his plan of service for each one of us. She has absolute trust in God’s loving mercy. Edith Stein was a Jew who converted to Catholicism and became a Carmelite Nun who later died in Auschwitz concentration camp. It became clear for Edith Stein that if we are touched by the gratuitous love of God’s mercy, then our outreach to others has to involve more than simply being nice to those around us. It involves solidarity, closeness and identification with others in their need. Living mercy is more relevant than ever as we continue to experience the reality of many new social ills. There is a need to create a culture of mercy at all levels. But this can only be done through living mercy in large and small ways”