I think there is an interesting connection between Lent and Mercy. Lent is not simply a time of asceticism and proving how self-disciplined we are...it is a time to humble our hearts before God. Whatever spiritual exercises we perform, the whole point of it is to take us to a deeper place with God.
In my last note to you, I mentioned that each of us needs to be open to receive mercy, and needs to be open to give mercy.
Pride is often the greatest block to either of these.
In our pride, we are blind to the ways we fail, and if we do see it, we are often to proud to admit our mistake and ask for forgiveness.
In our pride, we often lord people's failures over them, almost being a bit smug as to how they could mess up their lives so badly.
With prayer, penance, fasting...that veneer of pride begins to crack. We start seeing our lives from God's perspective. We start to see how truly needy we are and beg for His grace, His help,, His strength.
We also see that we who are needy are in no position to keep finding fault with everyone else....all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.
In this holy season let us not make a distinction between Lenten practices that lead us to humility, and the need for mercy.....they are all part of a greater reality.
We are featuring a Lenten reflection cd on our website...you might find it helpful in this season.
Peace....and mercy to all.
your brother and servant
Jim "Butch" Murphy
Vera Cruz Communications