The World Needs Mercy
Every year on the second last Friday of Term 3, the College celebrates Mercy Day. This day commemorates the founding of the Sisters of Mercy.
At age 44, Catherine McAuley was a wealthy heiress, having inherited what in today’s terms is over three million dollars. Although she was in a position to take up a life in Dublin society, to the surprise of her family and friends, Catherine used her fortune to build a large house in Baggot Street, where poor children could be educated, and poor women provided with shelter. Catherine’s house was opened on 24 September 1827. As this was the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, the house was named the House of Mercy. Catherine was joined at the House of Mercy by a group of young women who believed, as Catherine did, “that the poor need help today, not next week”.
Catherine and the Sisters of Mercy provide us with the perfect model of someone living their life by Gospel values, giving us a wonderful legacy to shape our lives. Mercy Day is about celebrating this wonderful legacy and raising funds for Mercy Works.
This year, students participated in creating a ‘Kindness Tree’ to pledge how they can show compassion and mercy to others in the College, at home, and in the wider community.
Each student was given a paper heart on which they wrote the ways they can show kindness. The hearts were then added to the kindness tree, filling the tree with hearts of kindness.
Students also wrote thank you notes to the Grounds and Maintenance team, in gratitude for all they do to look after our grounds and their hard work at every College event. These thank-you notes were presented to them at the assembly.
Following the example of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy, we must look at the reality of today’s world through eyes that are generous in compassion. We must ask, “Do we allow ourselves to be touched by compassion in the face of the suffering found around us in today’s world? Do we show mercy to others, remembering that God first showed mercy to us?” Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great”. Being kind to other people actually blesses you and makes you happier in life. Mercy undoubtedly produces greater joy in those to whom you’ve shown it.
As a Mercy Community, we are all called to live mercy ourselves and to witness it to everyone.
How will you live out your call to mercy?