In March 2015, Pope Francis announced the celebration of an “extraordinary Holy Year,” a “Jubilee of Mercy,” which began with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and ends on November 16, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Please explore the Vatican website for the Jubilee of Mercy.
Archdiocesan resources and information are available.
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Article: Real Prayers for Peace
July 24, 2016
To Make Us Strong
The sacraments are not decorations in life…. What a beautiful marriage, what a beautiful ceremony, what a beautiful banquet… but that is not the sacrament of marriage. That is a decoration! Grace is not given to decorate life, but rather to make us strong in life, giving us courage to go forward! ~Address, pilgrimage of Families, October 26, 2016
Reflection: The sacraments are amazing instruments of grace and mercy in our lives. Do you experience them that way? Where do you need strength? Where do you need courage? As you participate in the sacraments, ask God to help you grow in your areas of need.
Excerpted from “A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis”
January 3, 2016
A Prayer for a Merciful Home
You open your heart to us with unconditional love and devotion.
Help us to follow your example of mercy.
May our home provide a warm and welcoming space for all who enter our door.
May we strive each day to ask for and extend forgiveness with generous and open hearts.
May the words we say be ones of kindness and respect.
And may we listen twice as much as we speak, ever willing to remain open to one another.
Enfold our home in your merciful love.
In your sacred name, we pray.
- Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of mercy: “Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth; keep watch, O Lord, at the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3).
- If you’re sharing a treat, take the smaller portion.
December 27, 2015
How Do We Participate in the Jubilee?
As we consider the Holy Family today, we can consider how to participate in the Jubilee of Mercy in our families.
We are called to live out the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and the imprisoned, and burying the dead. Ask each family member to help create a list of ways that your family might help the poor, the lonely and those in need. Once a month, dedicate time to such a person by making them dinner, assisting them with projects around their home, offering your prayers and support, or simply providing them company. Even our own family members, relatives, friends and neighbors may be alone, needy or new to your parish or school. Extend an invitation to your home for dinner, and ask each of your family members to help prepare for the meal in some way. ~ From Building the Domestic Church, a Knights of Columbus publication.
Mercy in the family ~
- Take time in prayer to contemplate the good qualities of someone who is difficult for you. Do the same for each member of your family.
- Put down the phone and really listen to someone else. With eye contact.
- Create a short end-of-day ritual to ask for (and extend) forgiveness with those you live with. “…do not let the sun set on your anger” (Eph 4:26)
December 20, 2015
A Time of Love
“Let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.” ~Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy), Number 25.
“Give and gifts will be given to you.”~ Luke 6:38
Christmas is often a time of reciprocal giving. We give gifts to others, and they give gifts to us. It is supposed to be a sign of love, but often it is more a sign of obligation. In fact, during this last week of Advent, we might worry about who will surprise us with a gift and leave us feeling embarrassed because we did not remember to get them something in return. Yet, the best gift-giving is when we can give without expecting anything in return. This is how God gives to us, and this is how he expects us to give to others.
From the moment of our birth, God has showered us with gifts that we do not deserve and can never repay. This list is longer than even the most spoiled child’s Christmas list. Our very lives, our families, our education, our homes, our health, our unique talents, our financial security — all these and so much more are gifts God has poured to overflowing into our lives. And on Christmas morning, we are reminded of the greatest gift of all. God does not expect us to give him anything in return. Just as his gifts flow down upon us, we are called to let our gifts flow down upon those who can give us nothing in return.
Give Thoughtfully ~
- We could send anonymous gift cards to someone experiencing financial difficulties.
- Instead of hitting the latest holiday sale, we could donate to an organization that cares for the poor.
- We can carry some local fast food gift cards to give to the homeless so they can have a hot meal.
December 13, 2015
“Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.” ~ Pope Francis
The ritual opening of the Holy Door of Mercy in the Basilica of St. Peter, December 8, 2015, marked the official start of the Jubilee of Mercy. From that moment, in every Catholic Church in every diocese, the faithful are called to celebrate and live the Jubilee, particularly through the liturgy. ~ from http://www.im.va.