As The Year of Mercy Wraps Up – Develop An Action Plan for Moving Forward
As we approach the final month of the Year of Mercy, it is important that we develop an action plan for success in living a life of Mercy and utilizing these next few months of extraordinary graces! The Year of Mercy will conclude on November 20th, the Feast of Christ the King, so we don’t have much time left. Here are 5 simple and practical things you can do to encounter Christ’s Mercy and spread it to others.
- Visit a Holy Door – Plan a day trip to visit a Holy Door of Mercy such as your local Cathedral or head on a pilgrimage to receive this powerful Year of Mercy Indulgence.
“ To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. Likewise, I dispose that the Indulgence may be obtained in the Shrines in which the Door of Mercy is open and in the churches which traditionally are identified as Jubilee Churches. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for me and for the intentions that I bear in my heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world.”- LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ACCORDING TO WHICH AN INDULGENCE IS GRANTED TO THE FAITHFUL ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY
“By crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.”-Misericordiae Vultus- Papal Bull, section 14.
2. Develop An Action Plan for Practicing the Works of Mercy – One thing you can do as a family is develop a Mercy Resolution Plan on how you can begin (or continue) to live out a merciful lifestyle. Choose Works of Mercy that are doable for your family. A great place to start is with a free Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy Check List for Busy Moms on how to live out the works of mercy!
“I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. Hence the commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the power of the love of the Father who excludes no one. The Jubilee Indulgence is thus full, the fruit of the very event which is to be celebrated and experienced with faith, hope and charity.Furthermore, the Jubilee Indulgence can also be obtained for the deceased” -LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ACCORDING TO WHICH AN INDULGENCE IS GRANTED TO THE FAITHFUL ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY.
These acts of mercy reawaken our conscience, which too often grows dull through our own self-sufficiency. The works of mercy let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel, where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy.”-Papal Bull
“Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help! May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity”- Pope Francis (The Face of Mercy)
- Mercy letter of Forgiveness- Whom do you need to forgive? Mercy can be extended whether you are the victim or the violator. We all need God’s mercy, and a letter affirming this mercy can go a long way. Think about your many relationships in your life and decide who you might need you to extend mercy to. Pick up a pen and write a handwritten letter affirming your desire to live out Mercy in your life.
“Pardoning offenses becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully”-Papal Bull
- Meditate on God’s Love for you and how he wants to SHOWER you with Mercy- Make it personal; see that God’s Divine Mercy can transform your life! Do we really take time out of our busy life to appreciate how much God loves us, forgives us and how he has died for our sins? Take some time to meditate on the Scripture of the Prodigal Son found in Luke Chapter 15:1-32. The final line of this story reads “But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” Luke 15:11-31
- Examination Your Conscience on how you live out the Works of Mercy – Download the Corporal and Spiritual Examination of Conscience Guides, to help you reflect on how you view the Works of Mercy in light of the Gospel message. During this Extraordinary Year of Mercy, we are called to be vessels of mercy to others. This examination is designed to help you dig a little deeper into your spiritual life. This examination makes for great family dinner topic starters, a personal morning meditation or small group discussion questions for your Faith Sharing Group.
May we all grow in becoming more merciful in the Year of Mercy, by focusing on obtaining these special graces provided to us and indulgences of forgiveness. May this concept of being a vessel of Mercy be the platform for how we intend to live out our the rest of lives!
Time Is Ticking, the Year of Mercy is almost over, Pope Francis Shares with us these final remarks:
The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace. We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future. Papal Bull Section 5