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To See Through The Eyes Of Mercy 

A few excerpts from Pope Francis on Divine Mercy

"Here I Am" 

an article by Felix Carroll (Mar 13, 2013)

The Church has a new Holy Father — the first-ever pope from the Americas, the first-ever Jesuit pope, and the first-ever pope who has taken the name "Francis."  What won't be a first is having a Holy Father who supports the message of Divine Mercy.

Indeed, Pope Francis, elected today as the Catholic Church's 266th pontiff, takes over where Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II left off. He's a Divine Mercy apostle, and an early supporter of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, held in Rome in 2008.  As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he addressed the Congress during the five-day gathering seven years ago that drew thousands of Divine Mercy apostles from around the world.

Indeed, in a talk he gave in 2001, shortly after John Paul II elevated him to the cardinalate, Cardinal Bergoglio said, "Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord."

The Cardinal went on to describe Jesus as One who stands ready to forgive all sinners, as "One who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me, calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me. This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a ‘never falling down' but an always getting up again."

From the Lenten message by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. It was dated Feb. 13, one month before his election to the See of Peter as Pope Francis.

To the priests, the consecrated and the laity of the Archdiocese,
Rend your hearts, not your garments;
Return now to the Lord your God,
Because He is compassionate and merciful,
Slow to anger and rich in mercy …
Morality as response to God's mercy

Bergoglio views morality in the context of an encounter with Christ. This encounter is “triggered” by mercy, and the “privileged focus of the encounter is the caress of the mercy of Jesus Christ on my sin.”

Thus, he says, a new morality—a correspondence to mercy—is born.  He views this morality as a "revolution": it is "not a titanic effort of the will", but "simply a response" to a "surprising, unforeseeable, and 'unjust' mercy". It is "not a ‘never falling down' but an 'always getting up again’.”

According to his biography, The Jesuit, he changed his life when, at 17 years of age, he started a day of student celebrations by going to confession. "A strange thing happened to me...It was a surprise, the astonishment of an encounter...This is the religious experience: the astonishment of encountering someone who was waiting for you... God is the one who seeks us first."

Unmistakable connectedness for us:
Four things: 1) Parish Vision: “Connected in Christ” – 2) Pope Francis “Motto” – 3) “Divine Mercy” –      4) Matthew’s “Call”

Pope Francis’ episcopal motto in Latin is "Miserando atque eligendo," which means "because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him."

The phrase comes from a homily by St. Bede, an English eighth-century Christian writer and doctor of the church.  St. Bede's homily looks at Mt 9:9-13 in which Jesus saw the tax collector, Matthew, sitting at a customs post and said to him, "Follow me."  St. Bede explained in his homily, "Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men."

"He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: 'Follow me.' This following meant imitating the pattern of his life, not just walking after him. St. John tells us: 'Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.'"

That’s why our new Pope chose the name Francis with the emphasis on serving the poor through the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy out of love for Jesus and with deep humility, simplicity and the desire to “walk in the same way in which he walked.”


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