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Fr Paddy: ‘We all respond to warmth and welcome’

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

We are at our best when we feel at home and at ease. This is the great Gift of the Risen Lord, just as in the scripture, he, “Looks at us and loves us as we are” he continues to touch our hearts and awaken new life and hope that replenishes and renews our often bruised and weary soul.

The final day of the Easter Octave is affectionately known as Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a celebration of Gods eternal life and presence among us.

A presence that listens attentively to our needs pointing us to a resilient hope that no matter what diversity and burden we may carry, Gods mercy whispers All Will Be Well…… Mercy is the living out of our personal relationship with Jesus. It’s the praxis of our faith.

Mercy is a free gratuitous gift from our God whose compassion radically challenges a culture quick to judge and gossip. Mercy is counter cultural, it boldly tells us “Neither do I condemn you” “Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone” “Today you will be with me in paradise”

We all respond to warmth and welcome. We grow best, where we are nourished and respected. Our wisdom is strengthened when we are given freedom to be ourselves and loved despite our many faults and failings.

We discover mystery and creativity when we refuse to become static or entrenched in certainty. Doubt is a Great spiritual Gift. St. Paul tells us that doubt builds faith. It was the pious, entrenched and law loving holy ones who shouted most loudly “Crucify Him”.


Doubt and mercy go hand in hand. Divine Mercy Challenges the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. The Merciful Risen Christ never intended his Fathers Kingdom to be a Holy Huddle, for the pure and certain. Rather in the words of Pope Francis…..”

The Church must be at all times a field hospital in the battlefield, a place where the most wounded and broken are given priority, where through compassion and mercy they are loved and healed”

Mercy goes well beyond prescribed novena’s and formulas. Mercy is a way of life inspired by the giver of all gifts, our Creator God. Mercy is slow to prescribe but quick to listen.

Mercy is non verbal at times felt by the gentle smile, listening ear, and a warm embrace. Empathy is the language of mercy. Empathy affords another pilgrim an encounter where we feel we are not alone. We are loved and cherished that we are part of a sacred journey.

Mercy is the pathway to love. Mercy is the life giving comfort where healing of body and soul takes place. Mercy is about invitation, new beginnings and opportunity.

Mercy is all about the second chance. Personified in a broken body that fell three times as he carried a humiliating cross so that “By his wounds we too shall be healed”

May we indulge in Gods Mercy more and more. May we become instruments of mercy by our compassion and empathy. May we become something new and green, about to blossom and bear fruit, through mercy, may we become more like Christ…

SEE ALSO – Fr Paddy: Easter – ‘All is possible’

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Fr Paddy is a curate in the hugely vibrant Portlaoise Parish. From Carlow town, he was educated in Carlow CBS and studied Business and Politics in Trinity College Dublin before training to be a priest in Carlow College. He is the youngest priest in the Kildare & Leighlin diocese and writes for a number of media outlets. He has almost 14,000 followers on Twitter.