Friday, September 13, 2013

Week of Mercy: Day 1

Tonight begins the "Day of Atonement" (Yom Kippur) for our Jewish brothers and sisters. 

It strikes me as a very beautiful testimony that the day the children of Israel consider the holiest on their calendar is also the day on which they are called to repent and atone for sin. It speaks of their deep trust in God's love for His people, their deep trust in His mercy.

I had been considering that tonight I might begin the Week of Mercy (part of a series on the 7 holy pauses). When I remembered that this was the beginning of Yom Kippur, I knew that I must begin.

We are all called to change our hearts, to open them to Divine mercy, so that we might experience the fullness of the Love to which we are called.

It is hard to admit that we have done wrong. It is hard to ask for forgiveness with true humility and trust. It is hard to forgive ourselves - to allow ourselves the gift of mercy.

But think how much more beautiful, hopeful and peaceful our world would be if everyone everywhere tonight decided to devote the whole next day to the transformation of their hearts, to learning to forgive and be forgiven. It is a grace too wonderful to imagine. And yet we can...

I am also sharing with you this evening a beautiful painting sent by my friend Joy who explains for us its symbolism. She writes to us of mercy in the light of Christ. Yet it also fascinates me to see within her image a Star of David, as we reflect with our Jewish friends on their holy night.

 Wherever, whenever you read this, please join us on the path to Mercy...

(Painting and reflections below by Joy Wiederkehr, reprinted with permission.)

"...the "Icon" symbolizes and describes my understanding of "mercy". It is Christ's love, His mercy upon the world that transforms His human existence completely into the basis of life: the Chalice and the Bread of Life.
His heart is a vivid flame of love, a love that surrounds his light-filled presence and ascends to heaven  (triangle pointing upwards). On the other hand "forces" Christ's humanity God's mercy and love down to earth (triangle pointing down)."