The Servants of Charity
Divine Providence Province
Curing and Caring on the Lenten Journey!!!
In the life of St. John Mary Vianney, there is a beautiful episode about a man who made his confession to him. Before the man left the confessional box, he said to St. John Mary Vianney, “You must be a saint because you are such a good and compassionate confessor.” St. John Mary Vianney replied, “If I am a good confessor, it is because I am a great sinner.”
“The name of God is Mercy,” as stated by Pope Francis reveals his vision of God’s mercy, “The Pope is a man who needs the Mercy of God.”
Mercy is an integral characteristic of God who is “rich in mercy.” God’s divine mercy is a primordial gift and a most influential one because it surpasses even justice. St. Thomas Aquinas said, “When love and misery meet, there is born mercy which is one of the essential forms of charity.”
The season of Lent is given to us so that we may give time as our inner being needs to be transformed through self-introspection. We are all good and habituated to pointing an accusing finger at everyone, but our renewal and conversion begins when we admit our own failures and weaknesses. A central message of Jesus Christ is “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mk 1,15). The Greek word usually translated as “repent” used as the imperative (metanoiete), literally means change ideas, or change your hearts and move into a new direction, that is, “make a U turn.“ I think the spirit of Lent does not consist only in bodily fasting but fasting from wounding words, the plague of gossip, from amusements, a consumer mentality, the nonstop communication system, etc.
As our Holy Father recommends, “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favorable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practicing the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy- counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer.”
Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC