December 21, 2010

Celebration of the Christmas message around the Mercy World

On this great feast we rejoice in the message of the angels: Peace to God’s people on earth! Our spirits and hearts long for that peace as we struggle to bring and find peace in the midst of war, displacement of peoples, oppression of the vulnerable- especially women and children, rape of the earth and many and varied forms of injustice.

Conscious of our call, each of the Mercy families worldwide has committed to be instruments of peace to God’s people and channels of God’s Mercy to a suffering world. In this season that celebrates Emmanuel – God with us- let us ponder the commitments we have made and ask for a renewed energy in making these commitments a reality in our world.

These are the promises we, the Mercy family have made:

Extracts from Chapter Statements

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Fourth Institute Chapter (2005)

  • To deepen and assimilate more consciously the practice of non-violence as an integral aspect of the charism of Mercy
  • To deepen our response to the unrecognised and unreconciled racism past and present within our community
  • To reverence Earth and work more effectively toward the sustainability of life and toward universal recognition of the fundamental right to water
  • To continue to embrace our particular concern for women
  • To stand in solidarity with immigrants

Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia Chapter (2004)

  • “enhance our capacity for action for mercy and justice locally and globally, particularly among women;
  • acknowledged the challenge to ‘embrace the other’ and to ‘welcome difference’ and the imperative for the Institute
  • to continue to support wholeheartedly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in their struggle for justice;
  • to strengthen the commitment to asylum seekers and refugees by supporting them and advocating for policies which are compassionate and just.”

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland Chapter (2006)

“Centred in the God of Mercy, we will engage with the questions and struggles of our time. Conscious of the interconnectedness of all life, together we will refocus our Mercy Mission, committing our lives and resources to the alleviation of extreme poverty in all its forms, acting collaboratively at local and global levels.”

Sisters of Mercy New Zealand (2009)

“Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand, centred in God, impelled to be Mercy, keeping hope alive in our world today.”

Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland Chapter Proclamation (2009)

  • We believe that the Mercy charism embraces the interconnectedness of women, suffering people and Earth. We commit ourselves to explore this interconnectedness, to accept responsibility for care of Earth, and to venture new ministries among women, youth and suffering people.
  • We believe that the Mercy charism embraces right relationships with God, self, others, Earth and the life-enhancing nature of diversity. We commit ourselves to deepen our relationship with God, to nurture the quality of relationships within our congregation, to work in partnership with others, and to grow in our understanding and acceptance of diversity in all of life.
  • We believe that the Mercy charism embraces the energy and influence of mercy presence in the church, in the world and in all creation. We commit ourselves, in our leadership for mission, to be a personal and corporate presence in struggles for justice and equality.

The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy Chapter Statement (2008)

“Animated by our Mercy call and by living reflectively, we will reverence the earth and its peoples by engaging creatively with the needs of our time both locally and globally.”

“By our Fourth Vow we are committed to the poor, sick and underprivileged. True to the spirit and example of Catherine our primary focus is on the welfare of women and children.”

“We today, faithful to the spirit of Catherine, strive to bring the merciful, gentle, compassion of our God to the current, the unmet and the emerging needs of our advanced technological, consumer driven and materialistic society. We are aware of the confusion, darkness and alienation in our society and we desire to be a merciful presence for all who cross our path.”

Sisters of Mercy of the Union of Great Britain (2010)

  • Deeper understanding of the global social, economic, political and cultural structures which oppress peoples, nations and earth which sustain all
  • Reflective and Spiritual solidarity among ourselves and with those whose voices are repressed
  • Collaborative action

The Religious Sisters of Mercy Philippines (2010)

“ We commit ourselves as a community to Christ and the Gospel values in solidarity with the poor and the thrust of the local church, mediating the merciful Christ to the people through the education apostolate, apostolate to the sick, social apostolate, and parish involvement."

A Christmas prayer to bring God to birth in our time

  • Before your coming, your mother’s voice stirred joy in an unborn child: May we raise our voices for the hidden ones – the unborn, the displaced, the imprisoned, the disappeared
  • At your coming, all creation rejoiced: Help us to reverence your gift of earth and all with whom we share it
  • At your coming, you brought the grace of gentleness to our violent world: encourage us in our efforts to renew our ravaged lands, our war torn countries, our weary hearts
  • At your coming, a woman and a child showed forth your enduring love: support us as we proclaim to women and children your faithful promise to the powerless.
  • At your coming, those who walked in darkness saw a great light and the poor became bearers of light: May those whose lives we touch experience heartfelt mercy and dignity
  • At your coming, the angel song of peace and healing heralded your birth to the shepherds: Move us to a new song of reconciliation and forgiveness; of justice and faithfulness.
  • At your coming, the Magi saw the star and inquired and searched for its meaning: May we be attentive to the provident ways in which you lead us

May the peace of the new born Savior be with us!
May the joy of the angels find voice in us!
May the gift of God be given to all whom we serve!

(Adopted from Morning &Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy)

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