THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY
During which we are Highlighting the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
Mercy for the Month of June
FORGIVE OFFENSES WILLINGLY
Each month during the Year of Mercy we are highlighting one or two of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. We receive so many blessings from the Lord, the outpouring of His mercy and love. We must share that mercy and love with others in corporal, or material ways, as well as in spiritual ways. Jesus Christ came to earth for the forgiveness of our sins. The mercy of God is limitless. Unfortunately we are not usually as generous with mercy. But if we desire to be like Jesus, if we desire to be His disciples, we will strive to
forgive as He does. It isn't an option that He gives us. As we hear every time we pray the Our Father: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Our own forgiveness is dependent upon whether we are willing to forgive. We must not hold onto the past. We must not hold onto the wrongs. But instead, we must seek that freedom that comes through forgiveness, and extend to others the very same gift that we have received: the gift of mercy, the gift of forgiveness., the gift of love. These are our brothers and sisters—and Jesus Christ invites us to share with them from the mercies that we have received.
PATRON SAINT OF THE MONTH:
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTEL
St. Jane Frances de Chantel was married in 1592 to the Baron von Chantal. No manager of money or the estate, Jane took on this task with great faith, patience and skill. She often gave food and alms to the poor who came to their door. And not only were they deeply in love with one another, but with their children as well. In 1601 their quiet life was rocked when Christophe, her husband, was accidently shot on a hunting trip by his cousin. He did not die immediately, but lingered for several days.
During that time, he begged his cousin not to commit the sin of hating himself when he had done nothing wrong. The greater challenge was convincing Jane to forgive the man. It took her many years. She used to duck into shops whenever she saw him coming in the streets. With the counsel of St. Francis de Sales, her local bishop, she slowly learned to forgive. At first, she just started by greeting him in the streets. Once she had done this for a time, she we go to social engagements that they were both invited too. She then invited him to dinner. Finally, she was able to
embrace him in love, to truly forgive, and would even become the godmother to one of his children. With the aid of St. Francis, she would also go on to found the Order of the Visitation for women who were rejected by other
orders because of age or health.
MERCY IN ACTION
Forgiveness is hard. We sin often, and ask God to forgive us. We must let go of grudges. When we hold onto the past, we inflict the wrong upon ourselves over and over again, and keep ourselves from moving ahead, from growing in love.
We must stop using the past as a weapon against others, beating them down. It isn't about justice or the other deserving forgiveness. It isn't about the other
person even being sorry. It is about
mercy. Forgiveness can transform us and give us immense freedom, but only if we seek that path forward. As children, we learn to say we are sorry. But it is not enough to say it—we must mean it as well. The more we ask pardon and peace and forgiveness from God, particularly in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; the more we pray for another, with true love; the more we reflect upon His
mercy, such as with the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the easier it is to forgive—because it is a sharing in what we have received. Who do you need to forgive?
How are you Merciful like the Father?