This week I have the great privilege of writing this blog from Catherine’s House on Baggot Street in Dublin. Mercy International Center, as it is now known, is the international home for all who are connected in any way to the Mercy story and mission. It was at this sacred place that Catherine allowed the compassion of Jesus for the suffering poor to be made manifest through the works of mercy she carried out from this house.
Catherine is laid to rest in the garden at the Baggot Street house, yet her spirit is very much alive, and inspiring the continuation of the mercy mission in our time. Our work, wherever we do it, makes manifest the enduring compassion of Jesus for those who are in need intellectually, practically, emotionally and spiritually.
Catherine McAuley in her founding Rule of Life for the Sisters of Mercy was clear about what Mercy is. She said: “Mercy is the principal path pointed out by Jesus Christ…” For Catherine, Mercy is a lived experienced embodied in the person of Jesus. For her, Jesus was the model of mercy who shows us how to be merciful, and we walk with him on a path on which we are taught how to be more merciful; it is our life’s work.
She was clear that Jesus not only showed the way of mercy, as a path to be walked, a journey into God, but she saw the face of Jesus in the suffering poor. She instilled in her sisters that when they fed the hungry and helped those in need, they were ministering to Jesus.
Over the next three weeks, I will be blogging about this path that Jesus pointed out to Catherine and what that means for living mercy in our own time.