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Jubilee of Mercy / Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has extended his wish that the Jubilee be a living experience with the closeness of the Father:  “I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God.”

"Misericordiae Vultus" - Pope Francis' papal bull for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:  https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-...

Year of Mercy ends Nov. 20; Holy Doors close Nov. 13, 2016

Have you visited a Door of Mercy yet? The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis will end on the Feast of Christ the King, Sunday, Nov. 20. The Holy Doors in our diocese and in dioceses around the world officially close the week before, on Sunday, Nov. 13. There is still time to to make a pilgrimage to one of the Holy Doors in our diocese, located at St. Paul Co-Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, as well as at St. Augustine Parish in Humboldt. As part of deepening the experience of God’s mercy, the faithful are invited to pass through a Holy Door before Nov. 13 as an act of pilgrim prayer. A plenary indulgence is obtained if the visit to a Holy Door takes place in conjunction with celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession), celebrating the Eucharist with a reflection on mercy, and praying for Pope Francis’ prayer intentions. 

Resources for parishes - marking the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:


Suggestions for "CELEBRATING MERCY":

http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/sites/default/files/celebrating_mercy.pdf

"God's Message of Mercy" - a reflection from the diocesan Holy Year of Mercy Committee:  

http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/sites/default/files/mercy_reflection_0.pdf

OTHER RESOURCES:

Bolen Coat of ArmsBishop Donald Bolen's coat of arms features his motto "Mercy within mercy within mercy." 

This is a quotation is from Thomas Merton’s 1953 book The Sign of Jonas (Jonah), wherein Merton has God saying: “I have always overshadowed Jonas with my mercy.... Have you not had sight of me, Jonas, my child? Mercy within mercy within mercy.”





Ten Commandments of Mercy by Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI:

(Website: http://ronrolheiser.com/the-ten-commandments-of-mercy/#.VzOSiEu3bnc )

        Among the Ten Commandments, one begins with the word "remember": Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day". It reminds us to recall something we already know. There are commandments of mercy written into our very DNA. We already know them, but we need to remember them more explicitly. What are they?

        The Ten Commandments of Mercy:

        1.      Remember that mercy lies deepest in God's heart.

        Few things so much approximate the essence of God as does mercy. Mercy is God's essence. Scripture uses words such as loving-kindness and compassion to try to define what constitutes God's mercy, but the central biblical concept, captured in the Hebrew concept of hesed, connotes a relationship that loves, embraces, and forgives even when, and especially when, we cannot measure up or deserve what's given us

        2.      Remember that mercy is the essence of all true religion.

        Inside religion and spirituality, within all faiths, three things try to lay claim to what's central: proper religious practice, outreach to the poor, and compassion. Ultimately they are not in opposition, but complementary pieces of one religious whole. But for religious practice and outreach to the poor to be an extension of God's love and not of human ego, they need to be predicated upon compassion, mercy. Deepest inside of every religion is the invitation: Be compassionate, merciful, as God is compassionate.

        3.       Remember that we all stand forever in need of mercy.

        There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who converts than over ninety-nine righteous persons. Does God love sinners more than the righteous? There are no righteous persons. It's rather that we feel God's love more when we admit that we're sinners. None of us ever measure up. But, as St. Paul so consolingly teaches, the whole point is that we don't have to measure up. That's what mercy means. It's undeserved, by definition.

        4.      Remember that, having received mercy, we must show mercy to others.

        We only receive and appropriate God's mercy and the mercy of others when we extend that same mercy to others. Mercy has to flow through us. If we don't extend it to others we become self-indulgent and too harsh on others.

        5.      Remember that only the practice of mercy sets us free.

        Receiving and giving mercy is the only thing that frees from our congenital propensity to self-seek, self-justify, and judge others. Nothing frees us more from the tyranny of ego than does the practice of mercy.

        6.      Remember that mercy is not opposed to justice, but is its fulfillment.

        Mercy, as Walter Kasper so aptly puts it, is not "a kind of fabric softener that undermines the dogmas and commandments and abrogates the central and fundamental meaning of truth." That's the accusation the Pharisees made against Jesus. Mercy is where justice is meant to terminate.

        7.      Remember that only the practice of mercy will make God's Kingdom come.

        Jesus promised us that someday the meek will inherit the earth, the poor will eat plentiful, rich food, and all tears will be wiped away. That can only happen when mercy replaces self-interest.

        8.      Remember that mercy needs too to be practiced collectively.

        It is not enough for us to be merciful in our own lives. Mercy is marginalized in a society that doesn't sufficiently attend to those who are weak or needy, just as it is marginalized in a church that is judgmental. We must create a society that is merciful and a church that is merciful. Mercy, alone, enables the survival of the weakest.

        9.      Remember that mercy calls us to do works both spiritual and physical.

        Our Christian faith challenges us to perform mercy in a double way, corporeally and spiritually.  The classic corporal works of mercy are: Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, cloth the naked, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. The classic spiritual works of mercy are: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the afflicted, admonish the sinner, forgive offenses, bear wrongs patiently, and pray for the living and the dead. God has given us different gifts and all of us are better at some of these than at others, but mercy is manifest in all of them.

        10.  Remember that our lives are a dialogue between God's mercy and our weaknesses.

        The only thing at which we are adequate is being inadequate. We are forever falling short at something, no matter the strength of our sincerity, good intention, and willpower. Only mercy, receiving it and giving it, can lead us out of the choppy waters of our own anxieties, worry, and joylessness. Only in knowing mercy do we know gratitude.

        This year, 2016, Pope Francis has asked us all to live a year of mercy, to contemplate the mystery of mercy "as a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace." Mercy, he believes, is the secret to putting a credible face to God, to putting a credible face to our churches, and to walking with steadiness inside our own lives. - Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI - May 2016

Jubilee of Mercy - PRAYER:

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Jubilee of Mercy prayer is posted at: http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/dam/gdm/documenti/PDFpreghi...

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