Do you remember what your feelings were when they announced that we would have a Jubilee Year of Mercy? I remember feeling indifferent. What I needed wasn’t a Year of Mercy, I thought. Feeling overwhelmed with too many tasks, I was hoping for a Year of Supernatural powers. Or perhaps more realistically, with one of my adult children leaving the faith, a Year of Grace. But mercy? Why mercy?
It was also at this time that I began to think about the annual conference that I do online for mothers. Perhaps I should follow along with the church this year and go with the theme of mercy. Researching and looking for presenters with something to say about mercy brought about an understanding of how important this Year of Mercy could be.
God knew (and Pope Francis) that the world needed a Year of Mercy. God knew that I needed that, too.
Not only did I listen to these inspired presenters talk about mercy, but I had the opportunity to hear these talks more than once. See, I was the video editor. I got to hear these words and stories of mercy over, and over, and over again as I put the presentations together.
Let’s say, I think I finally got it. But did it change me?
It couldn’t help but change me. And I had a lot of changing to do. I finally began to understand God’s mercy for me. And I knew I needed to show His mercy to others.
Here are some examples.
I had never had any great interest in Divine Mercy. I just couldn’t get into it. Yet, this devotion kept coming up. Now I often repeat these words given to St. Faustina: “Jesus I Trust in You.” Whenever there is traffic, and I find that I will be late picking up my kids from school, I repeat these words. I don’t panic or curse or hit the dashboard. Or whenever I found out that my son stopped attending Mass while at college. “Jesus, I Trust in You!” This is REALLY trusting in the mercy of God!
I’ve found myself looking with more tenderness and mercy at the members of my family. Normally, I’d want to yell when my daughter insists on finishing her puzzle before we have to go somewhere. Now, I look on her with mercy—“if I were in the middle of something, would I want to quickly stop and leave?” Or it was even something as simple as her requesting a drink of water after being tucked into bed. I normally would be all huffy and irritated, thinking, “Would you just go to sleep!” Instead, I kindly “gave drink to the thirsty,” which actually settled her into bed more quickly and in a much better state of mind. This merciful mother also now listens to her preteen son without looking at her phone or computer when he wants to explain to her in detail his daring football play, his new made-up rap song, and his record 23-in-a-row water bottle flips.
Perhaps the hardest person to show mercy to is our spouse. We always take our husbands for granted. They don’t care if we are grumpy, selfish, or tired. After all, look at all we do for them! But this is not mercy. Even when we are grumpy, selfish, or tired, mercy asks us to look outward to our spouses’ needs. Now, when my husband comes home from work and I’ve had a challenging day, instead of immediately dumping on him when he walks in the door, I look at him with mercy.—I at least wait until after dinner, if at all.
A final way I’ve changed is with my understanding of forgiveness. Many talks from the conference dealt with mercy and forgiveness. Although I never had any large debts to forgive, I was still reminded of little instances that lingered. We all hold on to too much. Now whenever I feel offended, I pray for help to let it go. All of it.
I will confess that in writing this article that many of the fruits of this Year of Mercy have already begun to fade. I am quick tempered. I too often forget that “Jesus, I Trust in You.” So before the Year of Mercy comes to a close, I thought it would be good for everyone—especially myself, to think about and remember how God wants mercy to change us.
I am offering the online conference for mothers for FREE one last time before the Year of Mercy comes to a close. This conference I am referring to is called the Faces of Mercy www.CatholicConference4Moms.com . You can go to the site now and sign-up.
Learn about forgiveness from Allison Gingras, Simcha Fisher, and Rachel Muha. How do we teach this to our children? Ask Nicole Lataif. Learn from Gary Zimak how to get rid of anxiety with practical steps and the Divine Mercy message. Meditate on the meaning of mercy from speakers like Fr. Nathan Cromly, Elizabeth Reardon, and Jenessa Terraccino. Emily Jaminet and Michele Fahnle show us how practically to live mercy with the lessons from St. Faustina. Kimberly Hahn shows us that mercy leads us to evangelize others, and as Fr. Frank Pavone shares, to be pro-life. Do you have an experience of mercy like Brook Taylors did with her adopted child? Like Lisa Duffy had with her ex.? Or Mike Aquilina with his relationship with the guardian angels? Mercy is most needed in our homes as I share in my presentation and particularly with our spouses as shared by Karee and Manny Santos. And did you know that grace and mercy in the home is the top way to combat pornography according to Dr. Patti Zordich. Let's all pray for guidance from Mary, the Mother of Mercy and model for all mothers, as explained by Pat Gohn.
It will be held October 20-23 online. During the days of the conference, you will be able to view and even download audio of the presentations of that day. This way you can watch while folding laundry, doing dishes, or as part of your quiet time. If you want to “take it with you” you can simple download it to your phone or ipod to listen to while on the go. Each presentation is about 20 minutes long.
Don’t miss this opportunity to take some moments to ponder, pray, and consider the messages of mercy and how to live them out as a mother.