In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.
St. John of the Cross
In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.
St. John of the Cross
Inspirations for the Jubilee Year of Mercy
At the age of 57, on the eve of 2007, sitting by the tabernacle with the Blessed Mother behind me in statue and before me in stained glass, I prayed in the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, Virginia, the antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah on the feast of St. Lucy, December 13, 2006: “I am the Lord’s poor servant, to Him alone, the living God, I have offered all in sacrifice; I have nothing else to give; I offer Him myself.”
So let us give ourselves. Speaking for myself, I am not much; full of sins and countless failings and in the words of St. Francis, “Up to now I have done nothing.” So again, in the words of St. Francis, “Let us begin again.”
We are at the beginning of a marvelous Jubilee Year of Mercy. What a great time to rededicate ourselves, recommit ourselves to the Lord of Mercy for another day, for another year, for the rest of our lives.
Come, Lord Jesus!
This is the call of Advent. We cannot rededicate ourselves; recommit ourselves without Your grace, without Your aid.
Come, Lord Jesus!
You said in Revelations, “Behold I come to make all things new.” Come make the whole world, make Your church, make all Your people, make me, Your poor servant NEW even this day, even now.
I pray in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe said to Juan Diego:
Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God … here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion and protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows … their necessities and misfortunes. Listen and let it penetrate your heart.
“Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the fold of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1
10. I do not want to write this Encyclical without turning to that attractive and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace. Pope Francis in Laudato Si’
“A fellowship of mercy”
The dimension of fraternity also belongs in an essential way to Gospel witness. In the early Church, Christians lived fraternal communion to the extent of establishing an eloquent and attractive sign of unity and charity. The people were astonished to see Christians so united in love, so willing to give and to forgive one another, in such a fellowship of mercy, of benevolence, of reciprocal aid, unanimous in sharing the joys, sufferings and experiences of life. Your religious family is called to express this concrete fraternity, by restoring mutual trust — and I emphasize this: restoring mutual trust — in interpersonal relationships, so the world may see and believe, recognizing that Jesus’ love heals wounds and renders all as one.
Pope Francis to THE GENERAL CHAPTER OF THE ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR 26 May 2015