Lord, make me merciful.
Teach me to take into myself that which is hurting, which is broken, which is dark and painful, even that which is sinful in my brothers and sisters and to bear it within my heart. Better me than them, Lord, if your grace would permit it. If you will love in me and through me, if I might love them with your love, with your heart, and see them only as you see them, I know I would grow in leaps and bounds in true love. Jesus, I want to be merciful, as my heavenly Father is merciful. Only there can I find the place where I will grow in perfection. Only there can I remain in peace. Only there will I be made whole and be made new. Only there will I be able to invite others to your love. Only there will I be able to bring healing, light, hope and the truth into the hearts and lives of my family.
Lord, you have given me only one mother, only one father, only one family to which I am meant to love and bear the Gospel message. Help me then, to lay all else aside for their sake. In this greater family of the Church whom you have generously supplied to me as a means and source of teaching in love and encouraging in love and binding in love, assist me always to remember that human love is good, but human love in and through you is miraculous. Let me not settle for my own strength, for it is simply not enough. May I never grow weary of loving, never grow tired of laying down my life.
Oh, if only I would remember how much more I rest and am free in the very act of laying down my life! If I would only recall how exhausted my soul is when I am selfish and refuse to place them first. It is true that only in the Cross do we find life, not because it is an abstract knowledge we may come to understand, but because it is real life, and lived life, and the only hope in a world where sin remains. Jesus, your triumph remains even beyond the sin. Your destruction of death has given us all that we need to endure every single death we must suffer in this life, and all the means to grace and mercy that will teach us how to truly live.
Lord, let my home be nowhere but your heart. Let me be as the disciple whom you loved, and rest on your chest even in the midst of trial, temptation, danger and sadness. Let nothing move me from your side. I know you shall never leave me. And Jesus, for every time I do leave, and I do hurt others, and I do bring pain and sorrow into the world by my sinfulness, never let me doubt your mercy! Mercy was given on the Cross, at the very last moments of the greatest act of love. Your consummation of the covenant was made along with the gift of the Church to your Mother and she to the Church, and the forgiveness of all of us who “do not know what we do.” Lord, let this always be our strength, and let us learn to be merciful even when we are most betrayed and most abused.
Jesus, in your innocence you remained as a child, even in the midst of great evil… allow us to also be of the same childlike spirit, and share in the Holy Spirit’s gifts so that we will be meek and humble of heart. Let us rejoice in the self-emptying, the kenosis of your sacrifice. This is the prayer of a heart always in need of greater humility, and always delighted that you never give up, and you never grow weary, and you always love with a depth and passion and might that is nearly unbelievable.
Oh, what gift is the Love of God!