Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lenten Mercy-Meditation: Mercy Means Stopping




During a visit to Calabria, Pope Francis spotted a sign in the roadside crowd that read: Holy Father, please stop for Roberta, this angel who would like to meet you. And so Francis had the motorcade stop, and he got out and walked over to Roberta and her friends. Here's a picture of their short visit. 

In his newly published interview, The Name of God Is Mercy, Pope Francis teaches that mercy is the heart torn open for humanity in its wretchedness. But we must be sure to understand the word: wretchedness refers to humanity in its shame, need, pain, littleness, vulnerability, rejection, nakedness, poverty, fatigue, hunger, fears, tears, hunger, loneliness. Mercy is the heart torn open to the world in all of this. Do you feel it?

Recently I heard about a joint funeral celebration in Ireland for two persons with disabilities: neither ever spoke or walked. Apparently the family of the deceased hadn't been in a church in years. 

After the Funeral Mass, as the hearses carrying the caskets proceeded to the cemetery, they drove past the residence where the two adults had lived for many years. Seeing dozens of residents in wheelchairs lining the road and serving as an honor guard, the parents of the deceased got out of the cars and walked over, stopping to touch and thank each resident personally. 

Mercy means stopping. Mercy means touching. Mercy means comforting. Mercy means gratitude. 

11 comments:

  1. I think it is hard for us to open our hearts to all of this wretchedness. It is not that we don't want to, but when it come down to getting our hands dirty, we shy away from it. Being merciful means getting to the heart of all things. Not just in our minds.

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    1. We must begin. Perhaps there is some outreach ministry in our parish. A friend takes a night in the shelter for the homeless in her parish. Someone else I know makes a point of talking with the young special needs person who gives out carts in a supermarket. Someone else makes visits to the nursing home. That's an especially kind work...sitting with someone who has no visitors.

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  2. Recently I saw on the news that some people pushed Pope Francis over in their zeal as he was showing affection for a handicapped person. His reaction shows us that even in all kindness and mercy, we are still human, all of us that walk this earth together. In all our goodness and in all our flaws. We must remember that.

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    1. The pope was giving out rosaries. And someone grabbed or pushed him to get in the line of the gift.It knocked him over onto the wheelchair. He said twice, "Don't be so selfish."

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    2. Yes, the lesson here is to be selfless, not selfish. Do for others. The feeling you get on the inside is payback a million times over.

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  3. Oh Yes! Stopping! It is a real challenge to pull yourself away from "yourself". That will be a good thing to be on the lookout for today. Thanks for helping me to be a better me.

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  4. Pope Francis reminds us that abortion and sexual morality are not the only issues that matters to the Catholic church. Issues surrounding migration, human trafficking, and more broadly the poor, should matter to the Christian person just as much. Thank you Pope Francis for this year of mercy to remind us.

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  5. Thank you for teaching us about all the different aspects of mercy Father. I don't think it is ever explained well enough.

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  6. Pope Francis sets the bar for us. He shows us how to do as he does, not just as he says.

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  7. To stop for all humanity. Even in its wretchedness. I so very much love Pope Francis for putting mercy first. I have gone and read your mercy meditations now and find that you are very enlightened Father. I am pleased to make your acquaintance here.

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  8. Peace be with you! A blessed Holy Week and Easter time for you and all your family.

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