When I was a newspaper reporter covering crime and justice in Cincinnati, I often wrote about criminal trials. The sentencing phase, for me, was always the most interesting because I often saw justice served with mercy. Judges, not wanting to see a person’s life thrown away, would show appropriate leniency to defendants who had made a mistake. Victims, though hurting, would occasionally forgive their perpetrators. I always found such instances refreshing because that’s what we’re called to do.
We say it in the Lord’s Prayer as we plead “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” When we stumble, God continues to love and forgive us and wants us to do the same for others.
In Misericordiae Voltus, Pope Francis encourages each of us to experience mercy and share this grace with others.
“May the message of mercy reach everyone and may no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy,” the pope writes. “I direct this invitation to conversion even more fervently to those whose behavior distances them from the grace of God.”
Living mercifully can be challenging, particularly when we have been wronged. Our pain is real. Forgiveness can be difficult, even though we are all brothers and sisters. In those instances we turn to God for strength and the courage to overcome.
All of this was in the back of my mind as I visited with Precious Blood Sisters talking about how they have been merciful in the course of their ministries. Our Sisters have spent their lives in prayer and service to others. By feeding the hungry, educating the ignorant, sheltering the homeless, comforting the sorrowful, Precious Blood Sisters have been carrying out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy for more than 180 years.
You will meet some of these dear Sisters in this issue. We hope you enjoy their stories of faith and mercy.
On Sept. 14 the Sisters of the Precious Blood welcomed Sisters LaKesha Church and Mumbi Kigutha into the novitiate. A few days later, an event promoting peace was held at Salem Heights. Finally, the Sisters came together last July for Spirit Days and to recognize their Sisters who are celebrating milestone jubilees in 2016.
As always, thanks for reading Sharing & Caring. If you have any questions about this magazine or want to share a story idea, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 274-2707.