A Welcome and an Invitation to Mercy
You may have met our new intern, Christopher Buschur. We are very happy to have him in and around our parishes for the next nine months. He will get a deep experience of parish life and get involved in many activities. I am really looking forward to having him in our parishes. So that you can get to know him better, I’m going to ask him to write a short biography in the bulletin next Sunday. Please welcome him with open arms, introduce yourself to him, and invite him over.
I found something interesting a couple weeks ago. It is a prayer process that can be used to extend mercy towards someone. This is really important because all of us, without exception, have someone to forgive. There is someone that has mistreated us and we need to offer them mercy. Extending mercy is essential to the Gospel. We regularly pray in the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
This particular prayer process is from the “Healing the Whole Person” conference and I believe it was composed by Dr. Bob Schuchts.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who you need to forgive (could be family, friend, abuser, God, yourself).
- Picture the person in front of you and pay attention to what you feel.
- Make an account of the debt they owe you (what did they take from you, how did they hurt you?). It is okay to feel angry.
- Imagine yourself telling them what they did to hurt you and how it has affected you.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you believe about yourself based on the incident (oftentimes it is a lie such as: I’m unlovable, disgusting, worthless, etc)
- Renounce the identity lie. (For example: “I renounce the lie that I am not loved or cared for, etc).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the judgements you hold towards that person who hurt you.
- Renounce the judgements.
- Ask Jesus to forgive the person.
- Forgive the person and ask for the grace of compassion for them.
- Pray a prayer of blessing over that person – ask God to bless them in the opposite way that they hurt you.
- Ask Jesus to seal this forgiveness and heal the wounds of both you and them.
- Thank the Father for His healing.
If you find this prayer process helpful, it might be wise to cut it out and save it. Without doubt, extending mercy will be part of our futures. Life is about extending forgiveness and the mercy of God. It is easier said than done, but it is part of our path as followers of Jesus Christ.
One of His final sayings, hanging from the cross was, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Sincerely in His Merciful Heart,
Fr. Sean Wilson