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A Poem for Mercy Day 2020

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By Kathy Schongar, Mercy Associate


Mercy Day will come this year with a global pandemic twist:
without festive Community dinners; without joyful reunions
and jubilant celebrations to mark milestones in Mercy…

Mercy Day will come this year
without chapels and church pews filled to capacity,
alive with shared songs of joyful praise and prayerful gratitude,
with deep humility and grace.

Mercy Day will come this year with face masks, social distancing
and an abundance of caution that will challenge us
to think beyond the boundaries we once knew.
Trusting in Providence to guide us in adapting to a new world view,
Mercy moves boldly into the vast unknown…

Mercy Day will come this year because our world is groaning
with fear, poverty, racism and social upheaval.
Amid the scourge of COVID-19 and political posturing and divisive discord
the need for Mercy in our time is great.

Mercy Day will come this year because Catherine’s vision endures.
Her courage inspires us. The same Spirit that stirred in her heart
whispers to us across time and eternity fanning the embers of faith,
warming weary hearts with the gift of hope.

Mercy Day will come this year, warm hugs replaced by a virtual embrace
through glass windows or across autumnal lawns.
We will gather on Zoom or Skype and keep each other safe.
The light of Mercy will shine through air-hugs and phone calls,
letters and cards, car parades and cups of steaming tea shared.

Mercy Day will come this year, as it always has, to gather us in,
to hone our vision, to refresh our resolve, to remind us that
Love, the source of all goodness, fuels us.
God is with us, even in these unprecedented times.

Mercy Day will come this year to nourish our individual hearts
and to fill the coffers of our collective spirit
as we strive to meet ever-evolving contemporary needs
with unique solutions and creative ministries.

Mercy Day will come this year in a new and very different guise.
In classrooms and boardrooms, in hospitals and nursing homes,
in homeless shelters, on city streets and country lanes
we will see and serve Mercy with new eyes
as we step with conviction and confidence into a new reality.

Like Catherine and the women of Mercy who paved the way for us,
we go forward, face to the wind, “centered in God.”
The work of Mercy goes on…