This post is part of our Ordinary Time, Extraordinary Mercy series, in which CatholicMom.com contributors will share their own experiences of living the Year of Mercy. Beginning at Pentecost and continuing through the summer, we’ll cover many aspects of the Works of Mercy in family life.
Sometimes I worry about my daughter, who has the kind of personality that will always choose adventure and risk over common sense. Often, she acts before she thinks.
But there are times when her actions show that her heart is in exactly the right place. The first time I realized this was at my father-in-law’s funeral. My older son was asked to be a lector. When he broke down as he read the second reading, his sister (only 13 at the time) really came through for him. She didn’t have to think about it. She just left the pew, walked up to her brother, and stood there behind him with her hand on his shoulder. And when he finished his (mercifully short) reading, she took his arm and walked back with him to their seats.
While the rest of us sat frozen in our pews wishing we could do something to help my son, my daughter took action. She showed what she is made of.
All on her own, my daughter will cook a meal and deliver it to a grieving family. She has come home from college in order to attend the funeral of her high-school track coach’s wife. She’ll spend whole nights consoling friends after bad breakups. She’s volunteered at AIDS Outreach, soup kitchens and post-hurricane relief projects. She’s got the best handle on the Works of Mercy of anyone I know–and she’s only 20 years old.
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows her that she’s studying to be a nurse. Her compassion and quick actions in times of crisis will be valuable assets to her in that profession.
In the Year of Mercy, I pray that I’ll be able to be more like my daughter: quick to jump in where mercy is needed, thinking of others first instead of myself. This Year of Mercy, I pray that we all will take the initiative and have the courage to be merciful. As my daughter has taught me, it’s not always a bad thing to be impulsive.
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS