Monday, June 27, 2016


Los Angeles Cathedral

MERCY tells us who God is. It is expressed most fully in the person of Jesus Christ, but also in the lives of the saints. The saints depended on God’s mercy and freely shared it with others. They knew that mercy is God’s loving forgiveness and that every person needs it to become who God calls them to be.

Our popes have reminded us again and again that Jesus calls us to be merciful. Pope St. John XXIII (feast Oct. 23) was convinced that in our present age what was needed more than anything was what he called “ the  medicine of mercy”.

Pope St. John Paul II  (feast Oct.22) can be called the “pope of mercy.”  He lived a life of love and forgiveness in words and actions. As cardinal archbishop of Krakow, where St. Faustina (Oct. 5) lived and died, he promoted the message of Divine Mercy. As Holy Father, he canonized her and instituted Divine Mercy Sunday to instill in our hearts the assurance of God’s mercy to us all.

As we look to the saints in this Year of Mercy, we must first look to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother of Mercy (Sep. 24),  for her example and intercession. She who stood at the foot of the cross, where the greatest act of mercy was accomplished, inspires and helps us to bring God’s mercy to a world so in need.  Throughout the history of our Church, holy men and women have demonstrated the transforming power of mercy. We are inspired by looking at their lives 

In past Blogs we have looked at the great saints of Molokai who gave their lives to the lepers: Damien, Marianne Cope and more recently Joseph Dutton.

Our own founder St. Benedict (July 11) was noted for his hospitality and gave us the mandate that all should be received as Christ.  St. Vincent de Paul (Sept. 27) dedicated his life to the poor (we still know his name by the Society which ministers to the needy over 500 years after his death).

In our own day, soon to be canonized (Sept. 4) Mother Teresa of Calcutta also gave her life to the unwanted. St. Maximilian Kolbe  (Aug. 14) gave his life that another might live. St. Giuseppe Moscati (Nov. 16), patron of physicians, gave his life for the poor.

I invite you in this year dedicated to Mercy to look up the lives of some of the above mentioned saints or find ones of your own.  You can only be inspired by their love of Christ and humanity!

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