Posted by: sisterbernice | February 11, 2011

Mercy

I trust in the mercy of the Lord.   St. Faustina assures us of the Lord’s mercy.  Today’s readings speak to this as does the Feast of this Day – Our Lady of Lourdes.  The Lord loves.  He teaches love.  He teaches forgiveness.  He heals.   Here are today’s readings, followed by a prayer to our Lady of Lourdes.

Now, some may not want my prayers, may be offended by them.  I pray about that too.  I often think I could have expressed something better.  Sometimes what I meant, isn’t what I hear when I reread.  Why? Maybe I wrote in haste or there are no words or my own emotions get in my way. But one thing I know – the Lord hears me and understands.  He knows that my prayer comes from my heart.  He knows it is not about me.  He knows more than I ever will about the pain.  I trust in his mercy for he is God.

The more one suffers, the closer He is.  I know this, not just because of faith indoctrinated in me.  In working in a cancer center, with victims of another kind, I learned that God is near.    Whenever I doubt, I re-experience his presence within me or through someone else.  Often it is subtle, sometimes it is my face.  So, I don’t believe because the Church tells me to.  I believe because I have experienced the Lord in many ways.

I have also offended Him in more ways than I can say.  Yet, he still reaches for me.  I sometimes have to force myself to take a leap, and trust in Him.  Sometimes my trust is lukewarm but it is always met with a gift of grace.  I write every Friday in my own meager way to God.  And so, I put in His hands my own anger about this horrific betrayal.  I put in His hands my plea, meager as it is, with confidence that he knows what I mean.  I trust in his mercy and I try to be merciful.

What is mercy.  It is forgiveness, it is compassion, it is love.  And, so I know what I am doing – in love, with trust, is not wasted and will bear fruit.  What kind of fruit? I don’t know and probably won’t ever see or know.  But, I have seen and experienced so many miracles, so much suffering met with compassion in the midst of cruelty -the world shows cruelty to us at many moments – that I cannot turn my back on Him, or on prayer to Him.

I invite you all to pray – even if you don’t believe – what do you have to lose? Who will know – you won’t lose face – you won’t be seen as “weird”. It doesn’t make you “stupid or irrational”.  I have an advanced academic “scientific” professional degree and am not seen as a sap or unreasonable by others.  Maybe the mental exercise or prayer in and of itself is helpful? And maybe, it will bear fruit in helpful, unexpected ways.  Really, what does anyone have to lose by praying to God?

And, for those of us in the Church, who believe the Church is more than an organization – prayer is just as important as vigilance.  Pray for your priests and bishops.  This is part of my routine which I do every week.  As a professional who is a mandated reporter – please know that the Church isn’t the only place abuse takes place – it is not the main place.  It would be a mistake to think that.  It would be a mistake to think that organizational structures are to blame – people and failure of people are to blame.  This is true for all children in at-risk situations.  Pray for these children and our society as a whole.   Be vigilant in all areas of life.  Evil doesn’t care about labels and boundaries— as we have so painfully learned in this crisis.

Today’s readings:

Responsorial Psalm  Ps 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7 

R. (1a) Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

Mk 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES from http://www.lourdes-france.org

Mary, you showed yourself to Bernadette
in the crevice of the rock.
In the cold and grey of winter,
you brought the warmth, light and beauty
of your presence,

In the often obscure depths of our lives,
in the depth of the world where evil is so powerful,
bring hope,
return our confidence!

You are the Immaculate Conception,
come to our aid, sinners that we are.
Give us the humility to have a change of heart,
the courage to do penance.
Teach us to pray for all people.

Guide us to the source of true life.
Make us pilgrims going forward with your Church,
whet our appetite for the Eucharist,
the bread for the journey, the bread of life.

The Spirit brought about wonders in you, O Mary :
by his power, he has placed you near the Father,
in the glory of your eternal Son.
Look with kindness
on our miserable bodies and hearts.
Shine forth for us, like a gentle light,
at the hour of our death.

Together with Bernadette, we pray to you, O Mary,
as your poor children.
May we enter, like her, into the spirit of the Beatitudes.
Then, we will be able, here below,
begin to know the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven
and sing together with you :
Magnificent !

Glory to you, Virgin Mary,
blessed servant of the Lord,
Mother of God,
dwelling place of the Holy Spirit!

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