Follower of Jesus (39)
Oct 01, 2017
Follower of Jesus (39)
Blessed are the merciful,
For they will be shown mercy. (12)
The Name of God is Mercy (3)
Richard Rohr states the problem clearly: “The root of violence is the illusion of separation – from God, from Being itself, from being somehow one with everyone and everything.” The words of Jesus in John17:22: “I in them and You in me-that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent me and have loved them just as You have loved me” spells out clearly that we are all one, united in the love of God. Together we form the unified one, one in Jesus (and therefore one in God the Trinity) and one in one another, perfectly united, if we know that or not. The illusion of separation is innate in our perception that I am not you and you are not me, but the reality is that we together form one being in the Christ. Being merciful is, when we have the right perspective, a natural thing to do – we would not injure a part of our own body, for it hurts and forms a restriction on the rest of the body that takes a long time to heal, let alone the damage it does to the psyche. We consider a person who purposely injures themselves to have a mental problem and need immediate help, while not recognizing that anytime we inflict damage, physical or mental, on another being injures a part of ourselves and need help – in this case God help to help us see our oneness with all of creation.
Since humanity seems to be constantly picking on itself and injuring a part of the living body from time at the start of consciousness 70,000 years ago, it is no wonder that we are not very far along the chain of growth that we are being called to become. Our dualistic or judging tendency is part of our basic human fabric, one that we call the ego. In itself the ego is a necessary and beautiful part of our psychological makeup, as it is the way of understanding the world and living in it. That is fine, but it almost always takes over our operating system and instead of being the part that helped steer us through the physical world and left us be when we sought the conscious world that is our being, it became the driving force that prevents us from living and dwelling in our souls.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall see mercy”. The power behind that statement does not just state something nice; it is the very statement of being. We do not understand what we have not experienced, and we can’t understand the mercy of God until we practice mercy ourselves. Most of the time we read or hear something like this and we nod our heads wisely and go on our merry way, changing nothing. But Pope Francis’s book title, “the Name of God is Mercy”, bares it all. God has invited us to play in God’s back yard by practicing the nature of God: Mercy. Being merciful is not an option when trying to practice and follow Jesus; it is the very soul of belief in God and living that belief. When we are not merciful we deny our belief in God. Every time we deny being merciful under any circumstance, we deny that God exists or is merciful to that being, whether or not that is a person or any living being.
Being merciful should become our way of life. We are what we believe and practice; when we fail to be merciful to another we fail in our claimed belief in God. As St, Francis purportedly said: “Preach every day all day, and on occasion use words.” Being merciful, that is forgiving every seemingly slight, miscue, or perceived failure in our world, should be our way of life if we are to be a follower of Jesus. When being merciful seems difficult and the pain is great, imitate Jesus and say, from your heart, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
Oh font of Love, I surrender into your Being of Love and Mercy. I understand intellectually that I need to practice being merciful, but it is so difficult to forgive those seem so unmerciful themselves, and we so easily forget to say, along with Jesus, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” I ask for mercy to flood my soul, so that I might be that font of mercy in the midst of the pain of the world. I ask for help to be able to see the love and grace that fills our universe, seemingly hidden among the pain that is so evident. I surrender to that grace that fills every crevice in our universe to overflowing and gives life to our world and all that are part of that experience.