It is Good Friday. God’s Mercy is summed up in the Paschal Mystery. Death and Resurrection. Friday and Sunday.
When I think of the cross, I think of the deaths I experience. The psychological pain of worry and self doubt. The physical pain of disease and injury. The emotional pain of loss of love and loved ones.
And when I think of the cross, I think of the deaths I am called to go through. To focus… as I grow older and hopefully wiser… less on myself and more on those with whom I relate. Being less self-centered and more other-centered. Being more merciful towards others, even to the point of letting go of my own needs. Indeed, the dying to self so I can rise as a more merciful person.
But at times, I cannot help but fret. Years ago I played out this conversation in my head:
Me: I wonder if You, God, really want to forgive me. I wonder if You, God, really want to put up with my whining when things get tough. Or crying when things get really tough. I wonder if You, God, really love me, a person made in Your likeness, sure, but who often fails to be the person You created me to be. I am wondering if Your Love is simply too good to be true.
God: What more can I do to say, “I love you?” Your starting place is my mercy. My forgiveness… mercy… was promised and given years before you were born. That is your starting place. Now, stop fretting and get on with making my mercy more real in my Reign! Oh, and don’t forget. My Paschal Mystery is not a promise that you ‘will not experience pain’, but it is a promise that I will be with you. Always.