April 21, 2014

Mercy Words

Throughout 2014 in Mercy E-news, under the heading 'Featured Quote', we are publishing lines drawn from a variety of Mercy sources to help us think, reflect and act on the values, wisdom and ideals that are our shared inheritance.

The complete list of published quotes can be found below:

23 April

'Prayer is a plant the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian, but its growth entirely depends on the care we take to nourish it.'

Catherine McAuley, Retreat Instructions, p. 90


16 April

'...What we have to offer is not ourselves but the Christ who lives within us and the mission alone to which he calls us.

Strategic plans are necessary, budgets and fundraising are necessary, restored cathedrals and consolidation of resources are necessary. Working away at such goals is part of the penance involved simply in living at this point of history.

But these are not our mission and these are not our life. He alone is our life.
His mission which will always have the poor at our centre is our mission. He is attractive and enough to live for. His cause is exciting and enough to die for.

Our greatest efforts must go into becoming our true selves: the Church, the Sisters of Mercy, so that others, especially the young, can see Him and his cause in everything we do or say...'

from the Homily for the 125th Anniversary Mass of the Sisters of Mercy, Townsville (2003)
given by Most Rev Michael E Putney RIP DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Townsville


9 April

'The Servant of God, Catherine McAuley...practiced to a heroic degree the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity toward God and neighbor and along with them the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude'.
Source: Decree, 9 April 1990, Congregation for the Causes of Saints


2 April

'...The Mercy community is bigger than the Sisters of Mercy. It is something born of people understanding the tradition, valuing the tradition, working together out of the tradition, and contributing to the continuance of the tradition...'

Source: Carol Wheeler rsm, Mercy Secondary Education: What Does it truly Cost? p8 (1995)


26 March

'An observant, practical woman, Catherine McAuley looked and saw what transpired around her in early nineteenth century Ireland. She listened and heard what reflected the joy and pain of life. Reflecting on what she experienced, she learned ways to be helpful to body, mind and spirit...'

Source: Joanna Regan rsm and Isabelle Keiss rsm, Tender Courage, p77


19 March

'We have two great comforts here -excellent Bread in the Dublin household form and pure sparkling spring water.'
Catherine McAuley to Cecilia Marmion (1841
Source: Mary Sullivan rsm, ed.,The Correspondence of Catherine McAuley 1818-1841, 2004, p. 347.


12 March

'...We have often heard that part of our call to be Christian is to be counter-cultural. Perhaps one way we could be counter-cultural in our world today would be to stand against the frenzy and workaholism we see around us, and sometimes contribute to; to be in our hectic and clamorous world persons and places of deep peace; to bring to our service not the distraction of a hundred other things to do but to approach each person and each task with focus and reverence. This stance is, I have come to believe, a ministry in itself...'

Sheila Carney rsm
Source: Catherine McAuley – Integrated Spirituality (2009)

Download the article here (PDF)


5 March

'Catherine McAuley's virtue of confidence in God is a fundamental principle of her apostolic spirituality - her simple, unswerving trust in the abiding providence of God. If we do not recognize that characteristic in her we do not understand her.'

Carmel Bourke rsm
Source: A Woman Sings of Mercy, p33


26 February

'We are challenged to link with one another...so that the broken heart of mercy can enter more deeply into us and embrace God's beloved poor.

Kath Burke (ISMAPNG)


19 February

'Catherine McAuley, Ursula Frayne, Vincent Whitty, Baptist O'Donnell, were not the inventors of "mercy" nor of "the works of mercy". Each was, as we are, the recipient of a rich tradition of religious experience, a rich tradition of Christian experience, to which she contributed her invention. Each brought to that tradition a heart open to receive and a spirit willing to be instrumental in its expression in her life. That's the spirit in which a legacy has been given - and hopefully the spirit with which we celebrate that legacy. The always appropriate question in the face of such gifting is not "what would Catherine/Ursula/Vincent/Baptist do today?" The question is rather "what are we doing, what might we do, inspirited by our knowledge of Catherine McAuley and Ursula Frayne... what have we learned for this seventh generation from the lives they have lived for us?" Since it is a different question, it will lead to different answers...'

Helen-Marie Burns rsm (Americas)
Mercy Alive Festival, Perth 1996


12 February

Mercy be the name;
Mercy be the path;
Mercy at the heart.
Ever, ever. Amen
Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)
Source: Souvenirs of the Spirit - Poems and Prayers


29 January

'Mother Catherine was... a channel of God's Mercy and her doing of Mercy was in very fact her effort at "making the world more human."
Angela Bolster rsm (Ireland)
Source: Trocaire '81.


22 January

Mercy bestows benefits, receives us anew, and pardons again and again.
Source: Mercy Through the Years Calendar

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