I found this article this morning and somehow it sparked something in me especially this time of the year where we commemorate the Paschal mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Closely related to my vocation, mercy offers a rich plethora of reflection on God’s love for us and in turn how this beautiful virtue can turn this apathetic world of our modern age into a compassionate and loving one.
Mercy, is not foreign to me. From my childhood, sudden realization of compassion towards others are evident without any effort. Perhaps this was brought about by the subconscious stock of our shared past to view with love and care to those who have less, suffering, or alone. I can still remember my compassionate heart for kittens left alone in the streets and how I tried to save them and bring them home to take care of. Suddenly my mother realized we already have seven or so cats in the house. One experience which left a mark in my heart and being when I was five or six years old and my mother brought me along to hear mass at Bustillos near Quiapo. I saw a lame man by the gates of the Church, somehow a deep mercy gushed into my consciousness and asked my mother apologetically, ” Why is he suffering, does God doesn’t love him?” My mother as if struck by a lightning, held my hand tight and told me assuringly, “God loves him, God loves us all.” I thought it was my baptism of fire on mercy.
Fast forward, mercy played a special role in my life. I see myself in situations where there’s always an outcast person in our group or where I am positioned and as if instinct, I found it natural to always be near that person, know them, and let them feel that someone listens to their stories, laughs at their jokes and journey with them. Thankfully, God gave them a second chance and some of them found their path towards God.
But there was a time that I myself asked for mercy from others which I did not receive because laws and regulations are far more important than human persons. This somehow rattled my Faith and asked God why? I rebelled and turned my back and tried to sort my way. During those times, I was alone and I left God at bay. But God’s mercy is persistent. The wound it left in my being somehow healed and the scar became a source of recollection of how God has been gracious to me despite my unworthiness, brokenness, and sinfulness. In that darkness, I hear God’s call to come back and repent. My tears was my bread as I sour-grape on the seemingly numbness of others and how God permitted such situations.
But God is good, all the time! as I realize things over time, I learned to forgive and let go. I realized that every person has the same capacity towards love and hate and his choice and will plays a greater role in choosing this in all his actions. I learned to forgive those who caused pain and hurt me. This time around, my wound was the source of greater love which I didn’t know I am capable of.
In a month’s time, I will enter the seminary, a congregation that somewhat professionals of mercy-giving; mercy-ing per the above article. I learned from them early on that mercy is a fourfold action of the human person and the grace of God. Th unction or feeling of mercy we feel innate should move from thought, will and action. This is not possible unless we ask God to grant us the grace and courage to be merciful. Somehow, I thought this is what we lack in the modern age right now. The courage to act in the spirit of merciful love. Thanks be to God for a modern example in the life of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the par excellence of mercy and love in our times.
This Holy Week, let us pray to God, that in our experience of His mercy and love, grant us the same grace and courage to give all to others. That in sharing our mercy, others may experience the love and mercy of God.
Have a blessed Holy week.