May 15, 2013
Mercy International Association is offering a month-long renewal programme for a third consecutive year, (Sunday, 2 June – Saturday, 29 June, 2013). This residential programme is designed for vowed Mercy women who are seeking refreshment and renewal. It offers participants the opportunity to take time out in an atmosphere of warmth, hospitality, and internationality in order to discern more clearly the invitation of the Spirit in how to live out the mission of Mercy in our church and world.
Weekly themes to be explored are:
It is widely agreed that human beings make sense of their lives by telling stories. This being so, we will attempt to explore the phenomenon of religious life in light of our current global reality which is our unfolding contemporary story. Our exploration will be premised on the conviction that all over the world there are women and men who, touched by their encounter with God, yearn to respond to a deep-down impulse, a call, to find the intersection between an old and new story. This call impels them to live fully in this place of intersection in order to recover the meeting place of their own deep impulse to care and the world’s deep hunger. Religious life as a way of life that is organized around the purpose of searching for and finding God in these dangerous meeting places has the possibility of telling a profoundly new story. In our quest for God, religious vows can be experienced as the elegant choices we make daily for the sacred task of doing the transformative work necessary to bring healing and wholeness to our world.
The Lukan narrative, with its emphasis on mercy and compassion, has a particular resonance for us as Sisters of Mercy who have committed ourselves to a mercy way of life in an Earth community “being shattered by displacement”. During this week, we will reflect on the contemporary experience of displacement and bring that experience into dialogue with Lukan stories of mercy, compassion, justice and liberation against the backdrop of the Hebrew bible.
How do we ‘sense’ another’s soul and what moves her to do what she does? Perhaps it can be known in some small way when something of another’s life, vision, motivation and legacy stir us deeply. In this week of the programme we will both explore and contemplate together some aspects of Catherine’s life, vision and the legacy she left. We will seek to ‘sense the soul’ of Catherine within the facts of her story. In this we may know again the deeper roots of our own Mercy hearts. We will draw upon imagination, creativity, lived prayer and experience to plunge deeply into the Wellspring of Mercy and be nourished at the source.
Participants in the fourth week will explore the deep roots of mercy spirituality in the interpenetration of contemplation and action in our lives as women in the church today. We will explore the mystical roots of compassion with guidance from Julian of Norwich and Meister Eckhart, the healing of the soul wounds inflicted on the feminine through Teresa of Avila, and the relationship between non-violence and compassion in Catherine McAuley and Julian of Norwich. Finally, we will ponder the mystery of "joys and sorrows mingled" a we embrace the prophetic dimensions of our service to church and world. Periods of contemplative prayer will be integral to our cycle of presentations, conversations, and small group sharing.
Cost: €2100 (Residential, full month); €1620 (Non-residential, full month); €810 (Non-residential, two-weeks).