How to Give and Receive Mercy

5 Apr

NAS

Welcome to our Tuesday Not Alone Series!

Today we are talking about mercy in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday, which we celebrated this past Sunday.  In the year 2000, Saint Pope John Paul II pronounced Divine Mercy Sunday as the Sunday after Easter, as requested by Our Lord.  Our Lord appeared to Saint Faustina, a Polish nun who lived in the early 1900’s, and told her many amazing things about mercy.  It’s a fascinating topic and there is so much mercy to take advantage of!  According to the writings of Saint Faustina, Our Lord has oceans of mercy available for anyone who asks for mercy.  Pretty amazing, huh?!!  I think so too!

Without further ado, I am pleased to announce that today’s topic is MERCY.  Read along and link up below.  Please leave me a comment!  Here is the discussion and writing prompt:

Mercy is something we have all experienced whether we were on the receiving or the giving end. Sometimes mercy comes easily and other times it’s the last thing we want to give. Mercy can be daunting – we wonder whether we are worthy or mercy or cringe at the thought of showing mercy to someone who has hurt us. How do you experience mercy in your life? How do you forgive those who have hurt you even when they are not sorry or don’t even realize they hurt you? How do you ask for mercy when you have hurt someone? How do you allow God’s infinite mercy to work in you?

One of the first things I think of when I think of mercy is the Sacrament of Confession.  Confession is my surest way of receiving mercy.  Even though sometimes I feel like I have to work up the courage to go to Confession, I would say it’s one of my favorite sacraments.  I love the feeling of having a “clean slate.”

Sometimes I wrestle with mercy and feeling like I don’t deserve it.  I am often reminded that that thought is indeed a temptation to think that I am unworthy of mercy.  God wants me to run to Him for forgiveness when I sin, so I why would I be unworthy of mercy?  If God will forgive and be merciful to any repentant sinner, why not me?  It’s a false pride that creeps up and tempts me to think that I’m unworthy of God’s love or mercy.

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As far as showing others mercy – that can be quite the challenge, especially if it’s someone who you’re close to.  How is it that sometimes it’s hardest to work with those whom we are closest to?

One of the most profound moments of mercy in my life came about four years ago.  It was during Lent and I went to a talk by a priest at a local parish.  He gave a talk on mercy.  And man, it was the most amazing talk I’ve ever heard on mercy.  It moved me to tears and made me realize that it was time to let go of a grudge that I had been holding onto for a number of years.  I needed to ask for forgiveness from someone who I had been hurt by.  So on my way home that evening, I called up this person, told them about the talk on mercy, and told them that I had been holding onto this grudge of hurt for some years.  They had no idea that I had been hurt by them.  I asked them to forgive me for the grudge that I had been holding on to.  And they said yes.  We talked and made amends.  It was one of the most freeing moment of my life – and the sweet balm of forgiveness and mercy swept over me.

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A different time, I had someone come to me and ask for forgiveness.  It was a co-worker.  I had asked and then pressed for information I needed to get some work done.  He had been difficult and stubborn.  I was frustrated and he knew it.  I don’t remember all the details.  But he was being absurdly difficult to work with and I was annoyed.  A lot.  The day after this ordeal, I was at my desk working and said co-worker came up and said, “I’m sorry.” and I said, “I forgive you.”  We both knew that the situation from the day before should not have happened and despite it being awkward and hard to say the words, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” we made amends.  Did the drama go away entirely?  No.  Did we continue try working better together?  Yes.  Did I still get frustrated at times?  Yes, but I also tried praying for him.  He asked for mercy and mercy was given.

 

Last year I was part of a study group at parish.  We read the book “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.  This book blew me away with it’s simple yet profound insight into what it means to live mercy.  Mercy is a way of life.  It’s a way in which we view ourselves and others and avail ourselves of the mercy of God.  Living a life of mercy means that we make little sacrifices and pray for others, in union with Our Lord for the sake of His Passion.  To console the heart of Jesus means to offer up our every thought, word and deed with love in reparation for the sins of the world and to console His heart which is offended by our sins.  We can each take advantage of the oceans of mercy waiting for us if we only ask.  And believe it or not, God always says “yes” when we ask for mercy.

Link up with me by clicking the link here: An InLinkz Link-up

How have you experienced mercy in your life?  I’d love to hear from you!  Leave me some comment love below 🙂

Peace,
Rachel

 

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4 Responses to “How to Give and Receive Mercy”

  1. LauraMarieForLife April 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    Such a good post and topic, Rachel! Those are powerful stories of giving and receiving mercy. I’m so thankful for the Year of Mercy because I think it’s helping lots of people realize we don’t just sit here and judge people…we’re all about the mercy! It’s hard to say “I’m sorry” sometimes, but even harder (in my experience) to get over a grudge or forgive someone you’ve been hurt by. Especially when they don’t seem repentant. But man is it freeing! Thanks for sharing those stories with us. It’s edifying to see other people trying to extend mercy!

  2. Lindsay Wilcox April 15, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    I think a lot about forgiveness. I have learned to fight my passive-aggressive tendencies specifically because it’s what Jesus would do!

    • Rfog April 17, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

      I’m passive aggressive too! It’s definitely a challenge for me to figure out how to handle situations where I’d rather just keep the peace and avoid conflict. It’s a constant work in progress. With God’s grace and with time, I’ll learn to avoid my natural tendencies and become more proactive in facing difficult situations.

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  1. Not Alone Series: Mercy | Lindsay Loves - April 11, 2016

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