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Everyday Mercies

[caption id="attachment_1424" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP[/caption]

What do you seek?

This past week I had the privilege to serve as liturgist for the Mohun Health Care Center Retreat, with Rev. R.B. Williams, OP, as the preacher. The theme he chose was from a ritual used in most Dominican profession ceremonies when the aspiring Dominican is asked "what do you seek?" to which they respond, "God's mercy and yours." In the retreat conferences throughout the retreat, he developed this theme as both God's mercy and people's mercy were portrayed in the scriptures of the day and in our Dominican life of prayer, study, community and ministry.

Everyday Mercies

One phrase that R.B. used several times was "everyday mercies" - ways that God shows mercy to us daily: granting us life, breath, health, healing, forgiveness, understanding, invitations and power to be/do more than we imagined - just to name a few - and ways that others in community gift us with mercy everyday: accepting us with our limitations and foibles, forgiving us when we need it, reaching out a helping hand, challenging us, listening to us, speaking a comforting word, doing countless random acts of kindness, and so much more. How often such everyday mercies go unnoticed, are rejected, or simply taken for granted. Noticing these everyday mercies can make gratitude our everyday attitude.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

our-lady-of-guadalupe_thoma_swansonToday's feast, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is a great story of God's mercy flowing out to the native people in Mexico and to us through Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Juan Diego, anxious to find a priest for his dying uncle, would have rather bypassed meeting the lovely lady. He was unaware of the gift of mercy waiting to be poured out on him, his people, and us through his simple acts of carrying out Mary's directions. But Mary would not be so easily put off and we know the rest of the story: his uncle was healed, the church was built, and mercy and grace flowed out bringing about the conversion of millions to faith in Christ. The miraculous tilma imprinted with Mary's image still hangs above the altar in the church where everyday mercies continue to flow through Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. Most of us won't be called on for such extraordinary missions like Juan Diego, but all of us are called to incarnate mercy in everyday acts of physical or spiritual works of mercy right where we are.

A Prayer...

everyday mercies so often unnoticed come as quiet grace gifting gently to ease and comfort may even shake awake a sluggish will, to incarnate mercy for Christ waiting to call out a smile a moment of gladness hidden in someone we could just pass by everyday mercies they’re always ours to give freely lovingly when we will  

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