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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Feb 14th Homily Prep

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-check out this weeks LinC letter at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 11:00am and 6:00pm

Got Mercy? Need Mercy?

This lent we are attempting to walk the "way of Mercy".  This Lent is the annual check up on the quality of our believing.  Faith in our good God can be (and has been described by Jesus) as "loving God and our neighbor as our self."  I am suggesting that we examine our love of God and our love of neighbor against the measurement of mercy.

As Jesus was tested by Satan in the desert, so we might test our relationship with God.  Is there any mercy in God's love for us?  Do we need his mercy?  Do we recognize our need for mercy?  If not, let's start.

Secondly, in our love of neighbor (and I presume we are all loving some neighbors) is this quality called mercy present and active?  Isn't it possible that we have been "loving" someone(s) for a long time (at least we thought we were loving) but we have no mercy on them, for them?  So much of our loving is "tough love" as they called it in the 90's.  No tenderness, no kindness, no empathy - just the hard true love(this is going to hurt me more than you....type).

So, is there any mercy in there?  That's what I'm thinking about this Lent.


Joyfuralle said...

Tough love really struck a heart chord ... Really hope you beef up the tough love thing because so many people are afflicted & infected by it, especially in our thinking.

Tough love is an excuse for mean spiritedness... And not recognized as such by the one who gives it. Tough love says you deserve what you get, no matter what. Tough love is merciless & lacking in every good HUMAN quality. Tough love is living & being raised in a jungle ... instead of the Kingdom of God. Tough love in parenting is an accepted form of corporal punishment though a parent is not using a belt or a hand. Tough love is saying, see I told you that wouldn't work, should have listened to me. Tough love is an inward tyrant that grows with time because people don't speak up against it. Tough love is never learning to grow in the fact that life's misfortunes, HOWEVER they happen, are difficult and that we need to lift one another up, show mercy.

I recall when I was in my late teens I was supposed to be home by midnight. On the way home I got rear ended in my BRAND NEW car. By the time the police came, report filed, etc., I got home after 1:00. My father wanted to know why I was late, told him of the accident. Well, if you would have been home by midnight you wouldn't have been in the accident. Tough love, ugh.

Brainiac Love said...

I am reading a lot about compassion these days. The reading includes not only descriptions of the heartfelt beauty of compassion and the results compassion has on people and relationships - but it also includes good information on the science of it. It describes what goes on in two peoples brains as compassion is being extended by the one - and experienced by the other. It explains how the strengthening of compassion will actually help to suppress defensive behaviors. These brain scientists are learning from their studies that people can actually strengthen their neurological capacity to feel greater compassion toward others!

That being said, what better relationships to focus this increase of compassion than on the people we love everyday - our families, our dearest friends, our co-workers. As JoyFuralle describes above, parents and children could very often benefit from an increase of compassion in their relationships. And as to marriages - all the more so. These same brainy scientists explain that complex demands of marriage increase the degree of stress between couples. An intimate conversation can EASILY bump up against unaddressed conflicts, so a natural reaction is to avoid those conversations that may threaten marital attachment.

What is their solution? To make a conscious effort to have times of compassionate communication: To hold compassionate thoughts about one another, to spend time IMAGINING intimate conversations with one another, to share eye contact and to smile, to speak slowly and briefly, to focus on remaining relaxed in their presence, and to simply be aware and mindful of how things are - rather than being determined about how you think they ought to be.

And here's another interesting tidbit: A person needs to hear five compliments before he or she can listen non-defensively to a criticism. Hmmm. That puts more votes onto the kindness and tenderness side of things than the tough love side.

JoyFuralle said...

Love that info Brainiac! Reminds me at around year 17 I noticed my spouse was using better manners and being much more considerate with things around the house & in speech. Who knows, I just may have not noticed it as much the first 17 years! But in noticing, and I really liked it, I wanted to share that back with him. AMAZING all the good that grew ... And continues to.

But doesn't that make sense ... Scripture says, 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.' If we are taking in the Scriptures, truly, it should be coming out in word & action.

Anonymous said...

Mercy in every thing we do and say- showing compassion, love, forgiveness,mercy,understanding. What do you think Christ did for us ? Was he derogatory towards others? Did he use tough love? He only gave his life for us so that we may be forgiven and have everlasting life.
But yet as soon as we are done with mass service we go about living our daily life by stabbing others with words and unholy actions. Showing mercy is a constant vigil.