The Year of Mercy Begins! This is great cause for rejoicing as it beautifully overlaps the Year for Consecrated Life. In this quiet time of expectant waiting known as Advent, we Handmaids will be taking a deeper walk into our own consecrations during our yearly retreat. Our retreat allows us to have a dedicated time of greater silence, more intense listening in adoration, and a closer walk with our Beloved One to whom we have been consecrated. In a sense, its a time to bask in his Mercy, knowing none of us deserved to be called to this life, nor enjoy its unique privileges, challenges and hardships. Mercy is unmerited, yet ready to be given in abundance. As we ponder the coming of the King of Mercy, and seek him more earnestly, know we will be praying for you to experience this Jubilee Year of Mercy in a tangible, grace-filled way.
Mercy is experienced in two ways. In being forgiven and in forgiving. Sometimes it is easier to accept our sinfulness, even the comfortable, familiar guilt of our sins, saying “I am a sinner,” than it is to humbly accept the astounding reality that “I am loved by God,” and “I am forgiven, really forgiven.” When that point comes home, and this is the year for that point to come home experientially, then we are better enabled to forgive others now that we have been forgiven.
Allow yourself to be changed by the Mercy of God. Allow that Mercy to change others around you.
The Church is promoting many different ways to celebrate very concretely this awesome year of grace. We offer the following links to explore ways to participate. Most of all, we recommend beginning with yourself and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Tribunal of Mercy. May you find yourself touched and transformed. God bless you.