Open Your Ears

“Sorry, I don’t carry any cash or change on me,” I said as I walked by a friend on the street, trying to hurry to my Holy Hour.

“You need to open your ears! I asked if you had any good words from the Bible you’re holding,” David said.

Stunned at my misunderstanding of what I thought David said, I fumbled over my words and can’t even remember what I shared with him. Whatever it was, it sparked a conversation. I tried my best to get out of this conversation at first because I was so focused on the Holy Hour we were going to have, and I didn’t want David to “steal” any of my time in prayer. As I was trying to hurry the conversation along, I realized how stupid this thought process was, and it dawned on me how stuck in my own plan I was, even with something as good as Adoration and prayer. I realized God was trying to speak to me, but I was only wanting to hear it when and where I wanted.

David and I continued to talk, but I began to invest myself in this conversation and be truly present. He was really interested in prayer, so I asked him if he wanted to come in and pray a rosary with me. David tried to make some excuses, but in the end he said he had nothing else going on and he would give it a try. I was frantically looking for a guide to praying the rosary so he could follow along, but the words were too small for him to read. I asked if he would like to just listen to me pray the rosary out loud, and instead he suggested I say a sentence and he would repeat the words I said. Right as we were beginning the rosary, he stopped me and asked if we could hold the rosary together and join our prayer. For the next half hour, David and I prayed the rosary together. I would say a line, and he would repeat. He offered the rosary for the repose of the soul of his relative and that God would have mercy on their soul. He begged God to forgive him and reign down His mercy on him. After David prayed a rosary with me, he stayed for Mass. His tears fell at the foot of the Eucharist, shining on the seat of the pew in front of us.

David got it. It wasn’t about him, it wasn’t about his decision to pray, it was about the Father’s mercy for him. Something David didn’t deserve, something none of us deserve. This mercy is a gift. As we were sitting there, he didn’t understand what the Eucharist was and had no clue what was going on during Mass, but none of that mattered. David understood God’s love for him, a gift that brought a grown, tough man to tears.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-01-40-pmBlake Brouillette is a second-year missionary from Hastings, NE. He enjoys spike ball, giving pep talks, talking about Nebraska, and savoring all 23 flavors in a Dr. Pepper.

5 Ways to Live Out the Year of Mercy

TreyBy Trey Gross

The Year of Mercy started on December 8th, 2015. Did you know that? Some know a great deal about the Year of Mercy. Yet, it seems like many people are unaware of exactly what the Year of Mercy entails. Below are 5 ways that you can live out the Year of Mercy. Go!

1. GO TO CONFESSION. To live out mercy in our daily lives, we must start with ourselves.The Lord Jesus has given us himself in the “sacrament of mercy”- confession! Let us return often to the sacrament which renews us – which truly reconciles us to the Father. “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.” Pope Francis

2. HELP OTHERS GO TO CONFESSION. What better way to show others the mercy of the Father than to help others return to confession? EVERYONE IS IN NEED OF MERCY. Your coworkers, friends, family, fellow students – everyone. “In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love.” Pope Francis

3. GO ON PILGRIMAGE TO YOUR DIOCESE’S DOOR OF MERCY. “Everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice.” The human experience of being a pilgrim on earth must be lived out from time to time this year! Pope Francis says that going on pilgrimage can be a sign of mercy. Make a pilgrimage to the DOOR OF MERCY in your diocese (Click here for a list of all the DOORS OF MERCY.)

4. CORPORAL and SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY. Find ways to encounter the poor in your city! Don’t just serve them – but encounter them – announce to them their great dignity! If you live in Denver, come encounter the poor with Christ in the City at our 2nd Saturday Lunch. “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy“. Pope Francis (Click here for list of all Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.)

5. PRAY POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF MERCY. To live out mercy, we must be close to God the Father, who shows us his mercy. Pray the prayer of Pope Francis daily for the Year of Mercy. (Click here for Prayer.)

BONUS: Do you really want to deepen in your understanding of the Year of Mercy? Read Pope Francis’ Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. (Click here.)

Trey Gross is from Mobile, Alabama and an alum of Auburn University. He enjoys sweet tea, hiking, the Rosary and running. To read more from Trey, see his blog, The Joyful Pilgrim.