Sr. Eileen’s Opening Remarks at the Mercy Day Universal Prayer Service

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Welcome! Welcome!! To all of you to this sacred place where all are welcome!! No exceptions! 

On behalf of all of us who serve here at Mercy By The Sea, we want you to know how delighted we are that you have joined us today for prayer and community.

We join together today in prayer for mercy and compassion on our world. Somehow it seemed to us when we were planning this, that we as a country… as churches… as institutions that have always had answers…have run out of solutions. 

Our politics, our religions, all of our isms are dividing us in unexpected and unfathomable ways and a great chasm seems to have emerged. Us and them. Across the country, throughout the world, a certain meanness of spirit has arisen, and we are dissatisfied, but we just don’t know what to do. 

We know that our existence is inextricably linked to the other and the other is not a statistic. The other has a face and is a person to be cared for.

You probably know about the butterfly effect in chaos theory: A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil influences a tornado in Texas weeks later. One small event here can have a huge impact elsewhere.

Sister Mary Wickam, RSM, writes about her version of the butterfly effect:

If we utter aloud the word Mercy
Standing, each of us, by an open window anywhere we are in the world, 
Then the word Mercy will carry through the soundwaves onwards and unceasing
Through the air of the wounded world.
And maybe, just maybe, when it takes flight into deed and kindness, justice and effort, 
It will effect a healing, a hope and a blessing.

My friends, in the words of Christopher Frye, "thank God our time is now."  We have been given an opportunity to impact the world. Our feeble efforts to love better, to be kind, to care for the earth and its creatures, can have an influence that is beyond our expectation. I want to imagine each of us standing by our windows with our families tonight (or any other night) and speaking the word Mercy to our world. It is my belief that a healing, a hope and a blessing will sail upon the air waves to all who are hurting or in need, and then return to us, a healing, a hope and a blessing, for our families and for those we love.

It is time to pray. 

- Sr. Eileen’s Opening Remarks at the Mercy Day Universal Prayer Service.