TOP 12 IDEAS OF MISERICORDIAE VULTUS (FACE OF MERCY),
Pope Francis’ Bull Of Indiction For The Extraordinary Jubilee Of Mercy
Dear friends, last December 8, 2015, Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th Anniversary of the closing session of the Second Vatican Council, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was held with the opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City, as Pope Francis announced in the beautiful, poignant and powerful document in “Misericordiae Vultus”, which he issued proclaiming the year of extraordinary grace for all humanity.
To facilitate things for you, I have decided to list down the document’s top 12 ideas or topics which are very helpful and worthwhile to meditate upon in our personal prayer in order to put them into effect in our own life.
May Our Immaculate Mother Mary, “Mother of Mercy, help us rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness. You who entered the sanctuary of divine mercy, that you may never tire of turning your merciful eyes towards us, and make us worthy to contemplate the face of mercy, your Son Jesus.” Through her maternal intercession in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, may we “allow God to surprise us. He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart and repeats that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.”
Happy reading and meditation and feel free to share if you find this useful.
Take care and God bless!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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1.JESUS IS THE FACE AND REVELATION OF GOD THE FATHER’S MERCY
- Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. We are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.
- It will start on December 8, 2015 which marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, during which the Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world. The Holy Father will open the Holy Door on this day.
- It will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016 during which we will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future.
3. GOD’S MERCY, RATHER THAN A SIGN OF WEAKNESS, IS THE MARK OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE.
- The mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality through which he reveals his love as that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that this is a “visceral” love. It gushes forth from the depths naturally, full of tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy.
4. “HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER”. CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED TO LIVE THE SAME MERCY WHICH JESUS LIVED: IT IS AN INEXCUSABLE IMPERATIVE FOR ALL CHRISTIANS AND THE CRITERION OF THE TRUE CHILDREN OF GOD.
- Mercy renders God’s history with Israel a history of salvation. Mercy is the context in which Jesus carried out his ministry, of the Institution of the Eucharist and of his Passion and Death, conscious of the great mystery of love that he would consummate on the cross.
- With our eyes fixed on Jesus and his merciful gaze, we experience the love of the Most Holy Trinity. In Jesus and his entire life, love has now been made visible and tangible. Everything in him speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion. It is what moved him in all his actions.
- In the Parables of mercy, Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome rejection with compassion and mercy.
- Jesus affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father, it becomes a criterion for ascertaining who his true children are. We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us. Pardoning offences becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves.
5. MERCY IS THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH’S LIFE: IT IS HER MISSION TO ANNOUNCE GOD’S MERCY BASED ON THE LOVE OF CHRIST. ON IT DEPENDS HER CREDIBILITY.
- All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love and in her struggle against the temptation to focus exclusively on justice.
- In Dives in Misericordia, St. John Paul II highlighted the fact that we had forgotten the theme of mercy in today’s cultural milieu and pushed for a more urgent proclamation and witness to mercy in the contemporary world
- The Church, as Spouse of Christ, must announce God’s mercy and must pattern her behavior after the Son of God who went out to everyone without exception.
- The Church’s first truth is the love of Christ. The Church makes herself a servant of this love and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of one’s self… wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.
6. WE MUST ADOPT GOD’S MERCY AS OUR LIFESTYLE.
- To be merciful like the Father requires programme of life which leads us to listen to his voice, rediscovering the value of silence to meditate on it, in order to adopt His mercy as our lifestyle.
7. PILGRIMAGE AND ITS STEPS. MERCY IS THE GOAL. PERSONAL CONVERSION, WHICH INVOLVES REDISCOVERING AND LIVING THE CORPORAL AND SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY, IS THE WAY TO REACH THE GOAL AND THE CRITERIA UPON WHICH WE WILL BE JUDGED.
- Life is a pilgrimage in itself. Mercy is a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. Personal conversion. Do not judge; do not condemn, accepting the good in every person and to spare him any suffering that might be caused by our partial judgment and our presumption to know everything about him. Forgive and to give without asking nothing in return and to be compassionate towards others, knowing that we are instruments of His mercy.
- Open our hearts, heal the wounds of those who are suffering and who are denied their dignity, console and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care overcoming our indifference, routine, destructive cynicism, hypocrisy and egoism.
- Let us rediscover the corporal and spiritual works of mercy which will serve as the criteria upon which we will be judged.
- Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy:
- to feed the hungry,
- give drink to the thirsty,
- clothe the naked,
- welcome the stranger,
- heal the sick,
- visit the imprisoned,
- and bury the dead.
- And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy:
- to counsel the doubtful,
- instruct the ignorant,
- admonish sinners,
- comfort the afflicted,
- forgive offences,
- bear patiently those who do us ill, and
- pray for the living and the dead.
- A “year of the Lord’s favour” or “mercy”: this is what the Lord proclaimed and this is what we wish to live now: bringing a word and consoling the poor; liberating those who are bound by new forms of slavery; restoring dignity to all from whom it has been robbed. And all these acts of mercy done with cheerfulness.
8. LENT, CONFESSION AND GOD’S MERCY. NO TO INDIFFERENCE
- The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy. Place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.
- Confessors are called to be authentic signs of God’s mercy and to embrace the repentant son who comes back home and to express the joy of having him back again.
- For this, I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy who will be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, granting them the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.
- May no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy. I direct this invitation to conversion even more fervently to those whose behaviour distances them from the grace of God especially to the members of criminal organizations and to those who perpetuate or participate in corruption. This is the opportune moment to change our lives! This is the time to allow our hearts to be touched!
9. JUSTICE AND MERCY
- Justice and mercy are not two contradictory realities, but two dimensions of a single reality that unfolds progressively until it culminates in the fullness of love.
- Mercy is not opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe. God’s anger lasts but a moment, his mercy forever. God goes beyond justice with his mercy and forgiveness. Yet this does not mean that justice should be devalued or rendered superfluous. On the contrary: anyone who makes a mistake must pay the price.
- A Jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences. God’s forgiveness knows no bounds. He is always ready to forgive, and he never tires of forgiving in ways that are continually new and surprising. Hence, to live the indulgence of the Holy Year means to approach the Father’s mercy with the certainty that his forgiveness extends to the entire life of the believer.
11. PEACEFUL DIALOGUE WITH OTHER RELIGIONS
- This Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with Judaism and Islam and with other noble religious traditions, through fervent dialogue to know and understand on another better, eliminating every form of close-mindedness and disrespect, and driving out every form of violence and discrimination.
12. MOTHER OF MERCY
- Mother of Mercy, help us rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness. You who entered the sanctuary of divine mercy, that you may never tire of turning your merciful eyes towards us, and make us worthy to contemplate the face of mercy, your Son Jesus.
- In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart and repeats that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy, being its credible witness, professing and living it without tiring of extending mercy and being patient in extending compassion and comfort to all.