In celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, in “Keeping a Mercy Calendar, Part One,” we reflected on keeping track of events in the lives of family and friends in order to get better at giving mercy, reaching out as instruments of God’s mercy in others’ times of joy and sorrow.
In “Keeping a Mercy Calendar, Part Two,” we’ll reflect on keeping a Personal Mercy Calendar in order to see and appreciate God’s Mercy in our lives, so that we can get better at receiving mercy—as individual children of God and as members of the Church, the Communion of Saints.
Although we could keep such a calendar for our entire family as a whole, let us assume that we will keep a personal calendar for each family member, starting, perhaps, with one just for ourselves.
We might use a 2016 Personal Mercy Calendar to chronicle the Lord’s mercy in our lives just for the year 2016, as the year unfolds. Or we might start out by circling and naming the mercy-memorable dates that have past. In that way, we will have a Personal Mercy Calendar showing the Lord’s mercy in our lives, even prior to this calendar year.
Regarding pre-2016 happenings, we might identify mercy milestones like our birthday, Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage. If we use a Catholic calendar, we might take note of the Feasts that coincide with those dates. With God, all things are purposeful. We might see connections between our lives and the life of the Church. Surely, Saints on whose feast day we celebrated one of those milestone dates are special patrons of ours.
And if we discover that we have been Graced to share a feast of Our Lady or her Blessed Son, Our Lord and Savior, that is a mercy to be appreciated! If we don’t know the particulars about a Saint or a Feast Day which aligns with our special days, we might set aside some spiritual reading time to research and meditate on what we learn, seeing connections with our lives.
In addition to obvious milestones from the past, we might think of other kinds of important dates that hold special Faith significance, dates that inspire us to be especially prayerful or grateful for God’s mercy in our sorrow, including dates that recall the deaths of loved ones, including miscarriages or abortions, as well as illnesses and accidents, and employment terminations or demotions.
Likewise, we might think of important dates for which we want to give special thanks to the Lord, to share our joy, to remember and to acknowledge that all is grace and that every good thing that happens to us is the result of God’s Goodness in giving our gifts and talents opportunities to succeed. Such dates, then, might include graduations, employment, promotions, new housing, vacations, and other achievements, including overcoming vices, with God’s Grace.
The idea in keeping the Personal Mercy Calendar is to be able to see the continuing working of God’s Merciful Hand of Providence in our lives…To see that times of sorrow and loss are balanced by times of joy and gain…To see how much God loves us; how faithful He is to us; how He has never abandoned us. And to give thanks to God for His Infinite Mercy to us.
“There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
A friend once told me that as she experienced this Scripture verse, as well as the succeeding ones related to it, the “seasons” could alternate minute to minute; day to day; as well as over time…. A Personal Mercy Calendar is one way of keeping steady trust in God, of focusing on God’s Faithful Mercy—no matter what!
If you are like me, over the next weeks, you might become inundated with 2016 calendars. Here, in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, keeping Mercy Calendars as way of keeping track of mercies to give as well as mercies received is a merciful way to use one of those Catholic calendars that likely will come our way.
If you already keep a Mercy Calendar, or if you decide to give keeping a Personal Mercy Calendar a try, please let us know how it works and how you’ve discovered to maximize its potential for making you more aware and appreciative of God’s Mercies. By sharing your way of keeping Mercy Calendars, we all might benefit from your inspiration. Trying and sharing is much appreciated. God bless you! Thank you!