On Mercy Day we welcome and thank Sr. Mary Daly RSM who has written a guest blog for us.
Mercy! It has been extolled from Scripture to Shakespeare to Pope Francis! In the Bible it is the basic name of God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”. For Shakespeare, the quality of mercy is twice blessed. Both the giver and the receiver benefit from it. Pope Francis sees the face of God’s mercy in Jesus. All faith traditions praise it under different names, compassion, loving kindness, mercy.
Why is this quality so special? Mercy defines us as human beings. Through our merciful actions we recognize our bondedness within the human community and indeed as the Pope recently pointed out within the community of Earth. An important part of our reality is the quality of being bound together in forgiveness, in suffering, in extending aid. In recognizing our oneness with all, we respond to the needs, the suffering presented to us because we realize it is indeed our own need, our own suffering.
Mercy is offered in many ways. We were reminded of that in remembering 9/11 with its many acts of compassion. We saw it in the Olympics in the compassion of one woman runner to a fallen fellow racer.
Mercy is not simply a nice gesture of kindness to another. It is a claiming and deepening of our own humanity. In being merciful, I recognize your need and, if I am honest, my own neediness as well and our common journey through this life.
Sr. Mary Daly RSM