April 12, 2010

What is the Gospel according to me, a Sister of Mercy?’

In her article ‘Mercy Fire Kindled in Guyana—April 1894; Still Burning 2007’, Mary Noel Menezes rsm saw the frayed social fabric of Guyana as a microcosm of the global trends highlighted in other papers presented at the International Mercy Research Conference.

In her article, Mary Noel looks at the beginnings of Mercy in Guyana in 1894 and the early sisters work among the indigenous people, the present ministry of Sisters of Mercy in the midst of stresses and strains in community and the country, and the hopes and plans of Mercy into the twenty-first century amidst changing scenes and the unchanging need of mercy.

She quotes Henri Nouwen in saying:

When I listen to the sounds of greed, violence, rape, torture, murder and indiscriminate destruction, I hear a long, sustained cry coming from all the corners of the world. It is a cry of a deeply wounded humanity that no longer knows a safe dwelling place but wanders around the planet in a desperate search for love and comfort (Peacework: Prayer Resistance, Community, pgs. 28-29).

She follows by saying ‘such a cry is being heard in our country today, and this is the challenge for Mercy there, to listen and respond to the many cries of anguish, to speak out against injustice, to bring hope, comfort and, above all, peace…’

With realism, she notes ‘No group of people, no matter how well-disposed and willing, could hope to apply the bandages to every wound in their society…. but each Sister of Mercy in every single corner of the globe, enkindled by Christ’s love, can continue to share that love as He did, in healing both the mental and physical wounds, feeding the hungry, comforting the sorrowful.’

Mary Noel challenges each Sister of Mercy to ask herself continually, ‘What is the Gospel according to me, a Sister of Mercy?’ and ‘Do I always show by my life that the Gospel is GOOD NEWS?’

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