Mercy Word of the Week
The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a "Mercy Word of the Week" to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University's Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Chaos: According to Genesis, God didn't create the world from nothing, but out of "chaos." Chaos is not necessarily a bad thing. "Mercy" has been defined as "the willingness to enter into the chaos of another person's life". And that is exactly what happens when students and staff participate in Spring Break Service Trips. I've learned a lot on these trips, like how to install insulation in a basement in Kansas City, Mo. and how to build stairs on the side of the hill in Salem, W.Va.
But while I have learned many home repair skills, most important is what I learned about other people and their lives. Those of us who made Spring Break trips, thought we were going off to do a lot for others. But it always turns out that those to whom we minister actually teach us much more than we could ever imagine. Without these trips, I would not have heard Grannie B talk about overcoming the challenge of losing her house to a fire nor would I have learned what it is like to lack access to running water, as some of those we "served" do on a regular basis.
My experience on a Spring Break Service Trip allowed me to enter into the chaos of other people's lives across the country. I learned the importance of not fearing chaos and trusting the Spirit when someone else's chaos calls me to get involved…whether that's in West Virginia or Mississippi or right here at Saint Xavier with a student, a co-worker, or someone who stops by unexpectedly with a need, great or small.