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Thank God always for the happiness and beauty of life - it is beautiful.
Venerable Mary Potter's Last Words.

"Merciful Like the Father" - A Reflection on the Year of Mercy by Sr Mary Scanlon LCM

On New Year’s Day 2016, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, after which he opened the Holy Door. In his homily he said: “It is most fitting that on this day we invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary above all as the Mother of Mercy; and the door we have opened is the Door of Mercy… For us, Mary is an icon of how the Church must offer forgiveness to those who seek it…. She is the Mother of Mercy because she bore in her womb the very Face of divine mercy, Jesus Immanuel.” Pope Francis goes on to explain that the history of our sinful world can be understood only in the light of God’s love and mercy. The promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy; and the Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness to this promise and its fulfillment. Mary Potter in her own humble but insightful way echoes these truths in her little book “Our Lady’s Retreat”: “Who can fathom the vast abyss of God’s Mercy, opened to its farthest limits by Mary, the Mother of Mercy?”

It is now April, for Easter came early this year. We have recently walked with Jesus and Mary in the tragedy of suffering and the triumph of the Cross, experiencing the Paschal Mystery again in its intensity. We entered into Reconciliation, and came to know with heart knowledge the joy of forgiveness. What joy to be forgiven! What joy to hear the confessor’s gentle, forgiving words; what joy to forgive another and to have them forgive you in return! Christ triumphing from his glorious sepulchre, which bore witness to his Resurrection, is forgiveness. It is this forgiveness that is the vibrant nature of Mercy, the “ocean of Mercy” to which the Holy Father often refers. A wonderful expression! We are in Mercy as the sea creatures are in the ocean. And we in the Mary Potter Family rejoice still more because, as companions of Mary, we go hand in hand with her to offer God’s Mercy to everyone we meet. How? Listen again to our Foundress: “We should love and pray by the Holy Spirit as Mary did, and ever bear in mind that it was on Calvary that Jesus earned for us this grand outpouring of his love and mercy, his Holy Spirit.” That’s it, simple - and challenging. By our daily prayer and ministries in union with Mary, we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit in our every little action. We spend our lives in service to those in pain, suffering, afraid, lonely, sick, dying, and those grieving still for the victims of our ANZAC battles. We carry into their sorrow the joy of Resurrection. We sing for them Mary’s unending Magnificat. Through our hearts of joyful giving, we bring people to the shores of the ocean of Mercy awaiting them.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is a most exciting and relevant one for us in the Mary Potter Family. “The Virgin Mary was called to rejoice above all, because of what the Lord accomplished in her,” said Pope Francis in his opening homily. We too are called to rejoice in what the Lord is accomplishing daily in and through us. We are Easter people and Mercy is our song. These final words of Mary Potter ring out in our lives: “We live in the joy of the Resurrection; it should be a fresh joy to us each day!”

Mary Scanlon, April 2016.