04/19/2020: Mercy

“Have I found a way to be a bearer of divine, tender mercy into my world?” – Bishop Barron

This morning, I wondered …

All these things… to what end? For what purpose?

When everything falls away, what’s left?

Where do we find our answer?

When I ask such questions in the midst of my personal suffering, my mental spinning is woefully insufficient. And the flare of sharp left hip pain this morning is a reminder that, no matter how I try to numb my anxiety with carbs and alcohol and TV, pain is real and will be released somehow.

Mentally spinning, emotionally numbing, physically paining. The answer isn’t found within the mind-heart-body of me.

Rather, the answer is found in the Spirit of me. The Spirit that is both in me, and yet outside of me. The Spirit that is the Breath of Life that gives me life and is shared with the world. And the Spirit opened my eyes to 2 Chronicles 20:32-33, and a phrase brought my mind to attention, tugged at my heart, and settled in my body.

“Fix your heart on God.”

Then what, I wondered? 

And there was silence.

And my Spirit had to interweave with Spirit outside of me. So I tuned into Daily Mass with Bishop Barron, whose homilies bring the Word alive for me and fuel the flames of desire for the radically mysterious, yet tangible, Love of God-Made-Flesh. And on this Divine Mercy Sunday, as the words of John 20:19-31 leapt off the page as Bishop Barron spoke and drew me in, suddenly it became a living story in which I was a participant.

And within me, my Spirit asked, “Behind the locked doors of my fears and externally imposed isolation, have I fully received the Spirit of the wounded, risen Christ whose tender breath whispers against my lips, ‘Shalom’ (peace)?”

And outside of me, the Spirit asked, “Have I found a way to be a bearer of divine, tender mercy into my world?”

And so the call – “Fix your heart on God.”

Then what? – Receive the breath of Life that offers peace beyond understanding.

So that-  I may be a bearer of divine, tender mercy in a wounded, spinning world.

When everything else falls away…

When the world with its siren’s call to seek satisfaction outside ourselves cannot be touched,

When the only things that can be touched are our personal suffering and wounds,

Can we feel the tender breath of mercy against our trembling lips, open our deepest selves to receive it, and breathe it back into the world?