Taking the Mercy Challenge
By Sister Cynthia C.
Here we are in Cumberland Rhode Island with 6 wonderful women who have chosen to take the Mercy Challenge – an opportunity for a week of immersion in Mercy – living in community with sisters, experiencing something of the ministry of the sisters, hearing about Catherine McAuley and the founding of the Sisters of Mercy, as well as what the sisters are doing today.
This year’s challenge includes the program Awakening the Dreamer, which calls us to deepen our knowledge of the origins of Earth and the human community, and to understand the difficult situation in which we now find ourselves as a planet. So we are awakening – to what it means to be a believer in the midst of a world in great pain because it lacks faith, to what it means to be a Christian in a world that mistrusts institutions, to what it means to be a dreamer in a world where reality shows are our steady diet.
We awaken each morning to pray together, to remind ourselves of the divine grace that surrounds us, to hear each other offer prayers for our dear world and our dear ones. Then we set about the work of the day, learning, listening, talking, questioning, sharing wisdom, stretching to understand, pondering what our own call is and how to respond. And we gather as day comes to an end to ask each other:
What did we learn? What does it mean? How are we changing?
We are surrounded by the glory of green which is emerging with the late spring rain. The first night we built a fire to keep warm, today we sweated while working in the gardens. It’s spring in the northeast and every day is different.
As we learn more about each other and feel friendships beginning to grow, we are amazed at how Mercy draws different people together in bonds of compassion and deep yearning for a world of good health and deep peace for all creation.