Hi guys, my name is Erin and this is my first venture in blogging. I know I’m going to have fun with it, so I hope you enjoy reading and praying along with me!
Last year, I moved from my mountain town in Arizona (yes, Arizona!) to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. I’m studying at the Catholic University of America (yes, America!) and I have had an incredible year already. The 2014-2015 school year, my first as a college student, brought me to a realm before unknown to me. Seriously. When I moved last August, I was only aware of one other person in the entire district whom I had met before in my life. I had a random roommate, a new mode of transportation (Metro – LOVE IT), and a new chapter of my faith life to begin.
Anyone who knew me in high school would say that I was “good”. I didn’t go to parties, my experience with alcohol was hearing my parents order it at dinner and a sip or two in Italy three summers ago, and I attended Mass each Sunday with my mom and brother. I loved my faith then, and I relied on it to help me through my only high school relationship and two very emotional years on the varsity volleyball team. But when I got to CUA, I realized that I was no expert on the Catholic faith. Everywhere I turned, I noticed people pay different reverences to God, though we all loved and praised the same one. It was also my first experience with religious life, and God used the Dominican and Pauline sisters on campus and in my classes to pull me towards greater relationship with Him.
I loved to attend House Mass, an event put on in the Caldwell building by the freshman resident ministers, on Tuesday nights, and I often made it to a Daily Mass or two during the week, but it wasn’t until my boyfriend made it his Lenten promise to attend the Mass every day that I truly began to crave the Eucharist more and more. As I accompanied him to Mass most days, I learned that there was a different Him that would keep calling me back, every chance I got.
I also was blessed to go to Belize at the beginning of the summer. I love my mission team, but that’s a post for another day. My summer has been full of work and prayer, and I have found it delightful, even necessary, to visit the Hidden Christ in the tabernacle when I have even a few minutes to spare. Once again, God has told me that He wants me to prepare for Him to open my heart again to Him. Next July, I will be going to the Holy Land and to Poland to experience God’s mercy at World Youth Day 2016, in St. Pope John Paul II’s very childhood parish. There you have the reason for this blog and the reason for its title.
I’ve been thinking of writing a blog on and off for some time this summer, and I had all these pieces of ideas and false inspiration that I would like for a solid 20 minutes and forget about for weeks. But this stuck:
“Hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed?…For equal to His majesty is the Mercy that He shows.”
(Sirach 2:9-10, 18)
(Found the quote while reading Jason Evert’s Theology of Her Body).
How wonderful is that? We all know that God is pretty dang majestic. Look at a weed. How it grows and thrives and frankly overwhelms whatever you put in its path. God made that, and it’s not His biggest success. Look at a whale, how it makes Dory noises (right? Cuz if it doesn’t I will be severely disappointed) and is just so huge and beautiful. God made that, and it’s not His biggest success. Look at US, how we breathe. How we think. How we have the capacity to be creative and to choose for ourselves Heaven or Hell. We are God’s beloved ones. Now look at the stars and the universe and everything unknown to us. Does anyone want to argue that God, Creator of all, isn’t majestic? (I thought not.)
Let me go back to Sirach though. Equal to His majesty is the mercy He shows. So all those things that we just decided made God uber-majestic: As much majesty, grace, power, overwhelming beauty as He is, that is how much He loves us. That is how much He longs to be merciful towards us.
I think I understand why Pope Francis’s theme for the year and for World Youth Day is mercy…