by Sister Ellen McClure
The loving mercy of God, incarnate in Jesus, is the redemption of all creation – including each of us.
Last week we celebrated the Feast of the Visitation – during which Mary and Elizabeth experienced the mutual love and mercy of God, meant for all of us, but incarnate in two humble women. I had the wonderful blessing of being taught by Visitation nuns in high school. The great holiness in this congregation took place in the revelations of Jesus, showing his merciful Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque several centuries ago. Learning about these revelations and the spirit of these nuns formed my spirit to expect to know the love and mercy of God for my life to come.
As I became a nurse, and later a Franciscan sister, the blessings came to be. As a freshman nursing student I spent days talking with a dying patient so that he would be ready to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the anointing of the sick before his death. I saw the joy on his face these blessings brought to him and I was with him when he entered eternal life. I have never forgotten that interaction that took place over about a week’s time.
In my own formation and growth as a sister, the loving mercy of Jesus drew me on and on and became the spiritual center of my life in both joyful and challenging times. It is my anchor in God! I don’t always share the beginnings of my spiritual journey, but, the feast of the Visitation led me to think and pray about it again. I pray the love and mercy of God becomes your anchor as well and that it spreads wildly through the church in this Year of Mercy!