Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
As the saying goes, man proposes, and God disposes. My hope and expectation was to celebrate The Sacred Three Days with all of you. I did, sort of, from afar.

Before anything else, from the depth of my heart, I want to thank Father Gary Wiesmann, Monsignor Mike Hippee and Father Antony Vayalikarottu for coming to celebrate the Holy Week liturgies. How blessed and fortunate we were to get men like these to fill in at the last minute in the most demanding celebrations of our whole liturgy.

Each of those men will probably tell you that the main reason it worked was because Annie Gardner made it work. If it wasn’t for Annie, I have no idea what we would have done. For me personally, maybe Annie was God’s way of showing me his mercy, and His timing couldn’t have been better.

I received pictures of Molly Cowart’s baptism at the Easter Vigil, and, as I said last week, it was a special joy to walk the journey with her up to that evening. She looked very happy. I later found out that she “got a ring” and her dear friend, Bill aka Mike, (it’s a long story) popped the question to which she said “Yes.” What a way to celebrate Easter! And another wonderful piece of news is that they will continue to be members of our parish family.

In 1980, during his third year as pope, St. John Paul wrote his encyclical Dives in Misericordia, ‘Rich in Mercy.’ I read he wrote it in Polish originally, in longhand. Just that exercise alone brought him, I think, so much closer to the heart of his subject. Mercy became a very strong cur¬rent throughout his years as our Holy Father.

I found a great summary of the work at <> The Seventh Chapter is titled, “The Mercy of God In The Mission of the Church.” The summary is great.
The Church "professes and proclaims mercy - the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer - when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy." Particularly important in this area is "conscious and mature participation in the Eucharist and in the sacrament of penance or reconciliation. The Eucharist brings us ever nearer to that love which is more powerful than death." Penance "prepares the way for each individual, even those weighed down with great faults. In this sacrament each person can experience mercy in a unique way, ... the love which is more powerful than sin."

The Church also tries to practice mercy by following the teach¬ings of Jesus Christ. It must be noted that "in reciprocal relationships between persons merciful love is never a unilateral act or process," since "the one who gives is always also a beneficiary."

The forgetting of this bilateral quality of mercy is the reason that attempts are made to remove it from human relations, in order to base them solely on justice. Thus, there is a failure to see that "true mercy is, so to speak, the most profound source of justice. ... The equality brought by justice is limited to the realm of objective and extrinsic goods, while love and mercy bring it about that people meet one another in that value which is man himself, with the dignity that is proper to him." The world will only become more human if, along with justice, we introduce into relations among men merciful love and forgiveness, the fundamental condition for reconciliation.

The words I highlighted have been my special Easter present. True mercy doesn’t just give someone something; it makes me the recipient of what I’m giving.

Thank you for your concern and prayers. Some of you will enjoy thinking about the fact that one of the elements in the cure was dosing myself in cala¬mine lotion. And yes, I admit it, its pink.

With gratitude in the Risen Lord Jesus,
sign frjim

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