By Sister Patricia Burkard
We are again in another Lenten season — that time of year when we make a serious commitment to renew ourselves. Pope Francis writes that “during Lent, we are invited to listen, believe and embrace the grace God wishes to give us to transform our world.” His words provide a framework for our Lenten journey as they guide us to make use of our time during these 40 days by listening, believing and embracing the ways Jesus reveals God’s mercy to us so we, in turn, might make a difference in our world.
The Corporal Works of Mercy are at the heart of Christian service and how we come to the aid of one another in our need. Whether we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, spend time with the sick and imprisoned or comfort the afflicted, we are giving a human form to God’s mercy as we care for our neighbor.
“Doing acts of mercy” and “being mercy” takes energy and courage to stay the course. When we find ourselves waning, we can look to models of mercy like our patron St. Francis of Assisi and our very own St. Marianne Cope to give us strength. Francis preached peace so that a peaceful heart can recognize God’s mercy as it comes to us. St. Marianne showed us that we need strong, personal dedication and generosity to be signs of mercy to others.
Let us be reminded that God never tires of loving us, and ask God during this Lenten time to re-kindle in our hearts a desire to accept God’s mercy and the strength to show mercy to others.