By: Loreen Sarmiento December 20,2015 - 01:22 AM

I have accepted recent changes in the family. But I can’t seem to shake off a certain degree of regret, blame and frustration. I have to admit they continue to gnaw at my insides and this is not going to be helpful if I have to show love and support unconditionally.

I  shared this with a priest and he said this year is the year of grace, mercy and compassion. And by this, he said we need to look beyond blaming others and our own selves and focus on the greatness of God’s mercy for us.

For our part, he said we need to cast on others the same degree of mercy and compassion that God is showing us.

That struck me.

If God has been  so patient to me as an imperfect child, and He has forgiven me with compassion for all the faults I’ve had and continue to make, who am I not to do the same to others who have hurt or disappointed me?

In fact, despite my sins, God has continued to bless me in so many ways. It is humbling.

God loves me despite anything I’ve done. And when I stand up from falling into sin, He doesn’t ask a lot of questions. As long as I come to him in a repentant way, He simply forgives. And best of all, He forgets!  I get a clean slate once again.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Then the father confessor asked me to pray for the grace of mercy and compassion so I will be able to lighten my heavy heart.

But his words of wisdom already appeased me. I went to Mass after that with random tears flowing down my cheeks but with a peaceful heart.

Mercy and compassion. It was the theme of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to the Philippines at the start of 2015. And the Pope, did walk the talk. Without  warning, he sneaked out of a gathering to visit an orphanage or was it a home for the aged? And he blessed them all.

Mercy and compassion. It’s hard to give if you’re hurt.

But in Scripture and in the Christian faith, mercy means the giving of grace to people who don’t deserve it, or showing compassion to someone you have power or authority over.

I have authority over my children. So when they break any of my rules or disregard my instructions and because of that they fail, I have often said, “ I told you so.” And I start reprimanding.

Do I still love them? Of course. But if the wrongdoing is a major one that brings an untimely change to their lives and to the family, I know I have to give them a greater amount of mercy and compassion.

“I told you so” is not a compassionate statement anymore. Instead, it’s more merciful to say, “You have to be responsible for the consequences but I will be here to support you.”

Mercy and compassion are part of the character of God, who wants these to be part of our character, too. It is reciprocal. Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7)?

We’re all called to be merciful toward each other, the priest reminded me during our talk. And he said that the first step is to stop blaming myself for what has happened and be merciful first to myself. This will bring  inner healing.

Once my heart is at peace, only then  will I be able to be compassionate and merciful to others.

We cannot give what we don’t have. So now I am healing my self first, be merciful to my own and by God’s grace I can embrace the hurt inside me with unconditional love.

My favorite prayer nowadays is from “Learning Christ.” Let me share the portion that struck me dearly.

“Teach me Lord to be sweet and gentle in all events of my life. In disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me put myself  aside to think of the happiness of others, to hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them….Let me use it to mellow me, not harden or embitter me, that it may make me patient not irritable, that it may make me broad in my forgiveness…”

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: family, God, mercy, Opinion, Philippines, Pope, Pope Francis

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.