Moving Beyond the Year of Mercy

It’s hard to believe that the Jubilee Year of Mercy is coming to a close today, November 20, 2016, which also means today is the last day of our Mercy Matters Series.

When the idea of spending the entire year writing on mercy came to mind, I had no idea the impact this series would have on me personally.  There is some truth to that old saying of “you write what you most need to understand”.  This series did that for me. God had much in store for me this past year to better understand the gift of God’s mercy.    Writing about mercy and reading the words of mercy written by my colleagues transformed my heart.  This summer as my hometown faced shootings that garnered nationwide attention and flooding that impacted over 100,000 homes in our town, the very words on this website gave me tools to know how to act and helped frame my response.

I want to offer a special thanks to my friends and colleagues, Mary Mahaffey, Rob Tasman, Beth Knobbe, and Stephanie Clouatre-Davis for sharing their hearts and words with us. You touched so many this year by the gift of sharing your heart and wisdom with us.  Thank you.

While I set out to offer my readers a series on mercy, the surprising gift was how much I needed to dig deep into this topic in regards to my own life.  The graces were abundant.  What about you?

Naming the graces of the year: 

St. Ignatius invites us to name the graces we receive from God at the end of a prayer period or on a retreat.  I invite all of us who read this series to look back over our year and reflect on:

  • What new insight did I gain on God’s gift of mercy?
  • What resonated strongest?
  • What challenged me the most?
  • How did understanding mercy more help me understand God’s gift of it in my own life?
  • In light of this series on Mercy Matters, how do I feel called to put mercy in motion?

Take these to prayer.  Whatever God gave you, ask for it to deepen.  Whatever questions you are holding about your own actions or next steps, take them to God through prayer.  Ask for God’s help in guiding your steps.

If you want a place to share your responses, I invite you to go over to my Facebook page.  I have a post pinned to the top with these questions.  Share what you are comfortable with.  Ask questions.  I will do my best to respond!

Closing Prayer for the Year of Mercy: 

As our year comes to a close, I offer you this prayer I wrote.  Please feel free to use it in your own prayer life or to use it as a resource for your ministry.

Litany of Thanks for God’s Mercy that Endures: 

For all the times you wait with open arms for us….Your mercy continues to endure

For the embrace of welcome upon our return….Your mercy continues to endure

For all the times you forgive us….Your mercy continues to endure

For all the times you heal us…Your mercy continues to endure

For all the ways you unbind us….Your mercy continues to endure

For the ways you set us free…Your mercy continues to endure

For the ways you love us…Your mercy continues to endure

For the times you protect us… Your mercy continues to endure

For the way you birth newness within us…Your mercy continues to endure

For the ways you restore our souls and renew our spirits… Your mercy continues to endure

For the times you hold back your anger and offer us mercy instead…Your mercy continues to endure

God, may all that you do within us empower us to look with compassion on others, to see people’s truest dignity, and to show the mercy we receive from you to others.  

Amen.

A Look Ahead: 

  • New Series: During the Advent and Christmas Season, my weekly posts will focus on the theme, “Cultivating Awareness of God with Us“.  This series will include weekly practical prayer methods that help us develop the awareness of God with us in our lives.
  • An Exciting Announcement:  In the next few weeks, I have some very exciting news to share about a project that’s been in the works for 5 years.  Be on the look out for a special email about this project in December!
  • New Content: For the last few months, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for 2017 series and content.  If you have anything that you would like me to include or cover, please contact me with your ideas!  I am all ears!

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