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Friday, 14 May 2021 14:37

Mercyfied to be merciful

In his homily for the feast of the Divine Mercy, Pope Francis reminded that only the awareness of being forgiven and continuously receiving the mercy from God and being the fruit of His mercy makes one capable of seeing themselves and others with the eyes of God, who is the Creator. It gives us peace, however, "it is no outward peace, but peace of heart." It becomes the reason to send them with the mission. "The disciples realized that they had been shown mercy: they realized that God did not condemn or demean them, but instead believed in them.  God believes in us even more than we believe in ourselves. "He loves us better than we love ourselves." The Pope quotes cardinal Newman to show how much more God loves us than we love ourselves. Saint Catherine of Siena claimed the same thing. It gave her such a joy that it made her feel "like intoxicated" by the consciousness of the fact that God not only loves but adores His creation as it is, which was thought and contemplated in His infinite love.

Savouring the mystery of the creation of a man, Catherine underlines the Trinitarian aspect of a human being, who was created on the image and likeness of God – the One and Trinity. "Have mercy on your people with the same eternal love that led you to create us in your image and likeness. You said: Let us make humankind in our image and likeness. And this you did, eternal Trinity, willing that we should share all that you are, high eternal Trinity! You eternal Father, gave us memory to hold your gifts and share your power. You gave us understanding so that, seeing your goodness, we might share the wisdom of your only-begotten Son. And you gave us free will to love what our understanding sees and knows of your truth, and so share the mercy of your Holy Spirit. Why did you so dignify us? With unimaginable love, you looked upon our creatures within your very self, and you fell in love with us." (Dialogue 13)

The joy of being loved by God, of being a creature, which everything that has, has received from God, made Catherine the advocate of the Divine Mercy, which gives a man life and accompanies him or her in the path. "By your mercy we were created. And by your mercy we were created anew in your Son's blood. It is your mercy that preserves us. (…) Your mercy is life-giving. It is the light in which both the upright and sinners Discovery your goodness. (…) O, mad lover! It was not enough for you to take on our humanity: You had to die as well! Nor was death enough: You descended to the depths to summon our holy ancestors and fulfil your truth and mercy in them. (…) I see your mercy pressing you to give us even more when you leave yourself with us as food to strengthen our weakness, so that we forgetful fools should be forever reminded of your goodness. Every day you give us this food, showing us yourself in the sacrament of the altar within the mystic body of the Holy Church. And what has done this? Your mercy. O mercy! My heart is engulfed with the thought of you! For wherever I turn my thoughts I find nothing but mercy!" (Dialogue 30)

In this society which is more and more focused on the materialistic part of the reality, which more and more often sees the value of a human being by looking at the success, smugness and appearance, saint Catherine's point of view helps to return to what is in the basis – a man is a creature. It is a perspective of faith. And believing in God becomes also believing in man, every man created on the image of Trinity. This perspective enables us to trespass the boundaries of one's own world to meet with "the other", that we encounter every day in our paths.

Just as Pope Francis has mentioned several times, only if we are aware of being mercyfied, of the need of being continuously mercyfied, we can be merciful to another person, as we will have the look that lifts another person up. It enables us to become a brother and a sister and to stand in front of God, just like Catherine, and intercede for others, not for the sake of one's own salvation or to feel good, but only for the sake of another person. "So I beg you, divine eternal Love, to take your revenge on me, and be merciful to your people. I will not leave your presence till I see that you have been merciful to them. For what would it mean to me to have eternal life if death were the lot of you people, or if my faults especially and those of your other creatures should bring darkness upon your bright, who is light itself?" (Dialogue 13)

Nowadays, during this difficult time in which we can meet both, generosity of goodness and egoistic approaches, the example of Saint Catherine seems to be more than actual. Everyone can become a mercy to another. The only thing to be done is to kneel before so many wounds of the world and become a prayer for those who do not even have the strength to raise their eyes to God. As Pope Francis said: "Everything comes from this, from the grace of receiving mercy. This is the starting point of our Christian journey. But if we trust in our own abilities, in the efficiency of our structures and projects, we will not go far. Only if we accept the love of God, will we be able to offer something new to the world."
Published in IN DIALOGUE
Thursday, 08 August 2019 14:28

Saint Dominic: the Joy of the Gospel

Today, the Feast of saint Dominic, we - Missionaries of School - feel united with all of the Dominican family in the memorial of our Founder. He teaches us how to put God in the centre of our lives and all our activities. It is Him and His project of Salvation of each person in each time and place that should be above all the other things.

In the 13th century Dominic with his passion for fraternity and zealous concern for those who were away from the Church, renewed the apostolic vocation of the Church.

On the bases of this teaching the newly elected Master of the Order of Preachers, fr. Gerard Francis Timoner III (the first Philippine to be elected) commenting the Gospel (John 20:20), said: "... all Dominicans must have a capacity to preach evangelii gaudium, the joy of the Gospel. Thanks to God’s grace, I have experienced that joy in seeing the Lord, manifested through the fraternal embrace, support and love of the brothers present here in Vietnam; the prayers and kind words of support of the brothers and sisters from all over the world, including my family. They have been, for me, concrete manifestations of the Emmanuel, the Lord who is with us". 

The apostolic perspective for this charisma, that enriched the Church thanks to st. Dominic, was also expressed by saint Catherine of Siena. She had a dream where she saw herself and saint Dominic with all of his family entering the wounded heart of Christ together with both Christians and non Christians. It is a sign for everybody that with the Cross Jesus brought the olive branch of peace, saying to everyone: “ I proclaim to you a great joy” (Saint Catherine of Siena, The Letter 219).

Nowadays, the Church is called to give answers to today’s needs and proclaim the authenticity of Gospel. The way set by Dominic 800 years ago seems to be full of potentiality, like leaven and scent of the Gospel, more than ever before.
Published in IN DIALOGUE

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About Us

Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.  
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