Day 18 + 40 Days of Mercy + + +


I will not stop caring, whatever the cost.
I will not cease loving, no matter the consequences.
The political winds may howl above me,
scattering people like leaves in a storm,
but I will hold fast to the common ground,
the wisdom that once formed us.
Difference is not a crime. Diversity is not a threat.
Disagreement is not a failure.
Community requires of me what it requires of others:
a commitment to share in the process of justice.
There are no expendable human beings in that process,
only a sacrifice of privilege.
For the sake of the many, I will not stop caring for the few.

~ Steven Charleston

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Day 12 + 40 Days of Mercy + + +

“God’s mercy is greater than our sins. There is an awareness of sin that does not lead to God but rather to self-preoccupation. Our temptation is to be so impressed by our sins and our failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in paralyzing guilt. It is the guilt that says, ‘I am too sinful to deserve God’s mercy.’ It is the guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is the guilt that has become an idol and therefore a form of pride.

Lent is a time to break down this idol and to direct our attention to our loving Lord. The question is: ‘Are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy any longer… or are we like Peter who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?’ The season of Lent, during which winter and spring struggle with each other for dominance, helps us in a special way to cry out for God’s mercy.”
~ Henri Nouwen (from A Cry for Mercy)

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Gracious Wisdom

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“Somehow I feel sure that the most direct route to religious experience is to ask for the grace to give, to share, to console another, to bandage a hurting wound, to lift a fallen human spirit, to mend a quarrel, to search out a forgotten friend, to dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust, to encourage someone who has lost faith, to let someone who feels helpless do a favor for me, to keep a promise, to bury an old grudge, to reduce my demands on others, to fight for a principle, to express gratitude, to overcome a fear, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to tell others I love them, and then to tell them again.”

– John Powell, S.J.
in Through Seasons of the Heart

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