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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.

Grace: Have you ever been asked "What gets you up in the morning?" If it was on a day when you hit the snooze button seven times in a row, you might have answered glibly and put the question out of your mind. But, really, it's an important question.

C.S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity that "even the best Christian that ever lived is not acting on his own steam – he is only nourishing or protecting a life he could never have acquired by his own efforts" (63). Sometimes we get out of bed because we hope to do something great, and sometimes we are encouraged, cajoled, poked and prodded out of bed by something greater than ourselves despite our own desire to remain small and asleep; in either case, it is God encouraging us to be bigger and better than we could ever be on our own.

God, in all His mercy, offers a continuous outpouring of love. We call this outpouring Grace, and it is the greatest gift we can receive – this belief that God asks us in every moment to freely fall more deeply in love and to work in a way that will bring about His good purpose (Philippians 2:13). It is unearned and, even when refused or ignored, constantly present.

Next time you pray in thanksgiving for good weather, health, or food (all good gifts that come from God), consider offering a prayer for the biggest gift of all – God's Merciful Grace, His constant nudges in your life towards greatness. And if you're ever feeling small, listen more intently for those nudges.

Paul Stage, director of Campus Ministry