Family & strangers long to know God’s mercy through us

by Sister Francis Bangert
published January 2016

During this Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, I invite you to step out of your comfort zone with me and be open to learn about another’s misery.  Let your faith become action.  Here are some starters:

  • Make peace with someone you’ve not talked to in many years ... a parent, a sibling, a former friend, a neighbor.
  • Clean out your closet -- bring unused clothing to St. Vincent de Paul.
  • Visit a friend or a stranger in the nursing home.
  • Write to or visit someone you know who is in jail or prison.  Learn from them without judgment.
  • Donate blood at the Red Cross Center. Give life!
  • Give material, financial or emotional support to someone who just lost everything in a house fire.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  • Speak up when you  witness words or actions that violate another’s human dignity.
  • Become a volunteer at a literacy council -- teach an immigrant to read.
  • Pay attention to and take time to talk with your teen about the dangers of social media, as they navigate the troubled waters of adolescence.
  • Become a mentor at Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  A consistent supportive adult in the life of a child is very important.
  • Join the Justice and Peace committee in your parish ... to learn and to act.
  • Provide caring support for the young adult struggling with his or her sexual orientation.
  • Connect with JOSHUA (Justice Organization Sharing Hope United for Action) or a similar organization in your area to learn about and become active in the areas of immigration, prison reform, mental health.
  • Sign up to participate in a mission trip to a foreign country.
  • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.

May sharing the mercy you have received from a loving God with another bring you a “wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace” (Pope Francis in announcing the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy).

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“Mercy” is the form love takes when it encounters misery.”

Magnificat: Year of Mercy Companion, Fr. John D. Corbett, OP