“Mercy Me!”

Hello to all of you!  My name is Steven Wood, and I attend seminary at Mount Angel  along with Alex and a few other Sacramento seminarians.  For those of you who don’t know Alex, he’s the force behind every other blog on this page.  As for me, this is my first, so thank you for reading!

Pope Francis famously compared the Church to a field hospital, emphasizing its mission of mercy.  He declared in 2013 that “the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful.”  At Mount Angel seminary, we just finished a five-day silent retreat on the priestly virtues.  One of those virtues is–you guessed it!–mercy, the virtue that moves us to help people in difficult situations.

The retreat leader reminded us that the priesthood is an image of mercy.  Priests have the responsibility of being Jesus–of being mercy–to others.  And that’s the most beautiful things about the priesthood:  God, “who is rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), gives life to hurt and broken persons through the priest, who participates in Jesus’ own ministry.  Every Mass, Confession, and Baptism is an experience of Jesus himself ministering in the person of the priest.  It’s mind-staggering and heart-humbling to think that God shares so much with us!

I want to share two questions from the retreat that really got me thinking:  (1) What does God’s mercy feel like in your own experience?  (2) What situations or persons in your life right now need you to share mercy with them?

What’s your answer to those questions?  As you think about them, know that all of us Sacramento seminarians are praying for you.  Including this one, who has just been ‘baptized by blog’!