Archbishop Donald Bolen used his personal motto - Mercy within Mercy within Mercy - to begin his talk to the Christ the King Ladies Prayer Breakfast held January 28 in the Church Hall. Bishop Don explained how he came to using this motto: “I was reading Thomas Merton’s book The Sign of Jonas and this phrase comes near the end of the book,” and he felt it appropriate in expressing his beliefs.
With that explanation, the archbishop led into his talk about how God’s love and mercy is at the core of our Catholic faith. He explained that the word that is often referred to in liturgies is the great love of God. “God is a God who embraces us with a great love and infinite mercy. He is willing to go to any length to get to us. That’s THE Word, and it is at the heart of our Christian faith. Hope lies in God’s inexhaustible energy. There is no limit to God’s mercy’” said the archbishop. “Mercy is at the heart of God.”
Archbishop asked his audience, how they could take this forward. He suggested his own views of the Church, including that we need to preach and be transformed by God’s mercy. He quoted Pope Francis who spoke often about God’s mercy during the extraordinary Year of Mercy and referred specifically to Pope Francis’ response when he was asked, who is Jorge Bergoglio, and he responded, “I am a sinner who has experienced God’s mercy. God never tires of showing us his mercy. Eventually we are transformed by God’s mercy.”
The Archbishop repeated the thought, “Eventually we are transformed by God’s mercy.” He expressed to the ladies that this should make us a joyful people. Our parishes should be places of joy and mercy. If you are filled with mercy why wouldn’t you be joyful?
Archbishop Bolen referred briefly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the call to action and the harm done to Indigenous people. “Justice and mercy are not exclusive. Mercy causes us to work together to build community.” He asked his audience to be receptive to other people’s gifts as “We need to find God in our everyday lives as God finds us in our everyday lives.”
The Christ the King Ladies Prayer Breakfast was an initiative of the parish’s welcoming committee. Committee chair Annette Polasek said the event was the first of what the committee would like to be a series of events to bring the parish community closer together.