Introduction: Compassionate Heart
Elizabeth Davis rsm (Newfoundland)
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Script of Video
“A Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion” (Lk 10:33). We now continue with the second theme in the fourth segment of Mercy Global Presence – Integration. In March, we completed the first theme – “Contemplative Seeing.” Before we move to the second theme, “A Compassionate Heart,” let us recall some of the diverse voices and images from the first theme.
Mary Katherine Doyle rsm, using images of sequoia trees, described contemplative seeing. She told us, “It is a gift to see beyond the first level of sight, to see beyond appearances into the heart of what is perceived. Contemplative seeing does that. It leads us beyond the surface into meaning. It moves us into the revelatory moment of sight. It is the experience of living sacramentality.” Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry gave Jo O’Donovan rsm the inspiration she needed, “Hopkins invites us to a contemplative seeing of earth and our place in it, a seeing with our feet on the ground and a ‘faith with eyes wide open.’ The Windhover invites us to seeing and hearing with the whole self. With the little kestrel, we are inserted into the noble passion of creation that mimes variously the Creator’s own passion in Christ.” Michelle Gorman rsm also looked to poets to speak to us, “Contemplative seeing is the willingness to sit in the dark and let the truth reveal itself to my inner and outer eyes without my need to control the outcome – to let the truth “dawn” on me – and, in that dawning, to be transformed.”
In the midst of this pandemic time, Maria Teresa Retana rsm found comfort, “We face hurdles and overcome whatever crosses us in taking the path of “Mercy” which our loving God calls us to tread with everyone in our care. This time of “pause” is an invitation from God to look at our lives, to see and believe that what matters most is to trust fully in God’s divine providence. As a Misericordian, I continue to be the voice that echoes the Mercy of God to His people.” Using the works of artists, Valda Dickinson rsm led us in a deeply reflective prayer, “Contemplative Seeing: The opening of Eyes from Sight to Insight.” She helped us fall into deep stillness as she led us through “Visio Divina,” allowing God to speak to us through images.
Now we begin our second theme, “A Compassionate Heart.” We find our inspiration and our invitation to a compassionate heart in the words of the first creation story, “God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them” (Gen 1:27). This invitation is reinforced in Jesus’ words in Luke, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:35-36). We were created in God’s image, to act in God’s image. And the single most dominant image of God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament is that of the Compassionate One...
Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator
Elizabeth Davis rsm is the Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland.
She is the Mercy Leaders' representive on the Mercy Global Presence Guiding Group.
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