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What Mercy Means to Me

September 27, 2012

By Sister Kay O.

For several summers, I instructed classes of in-service teachers how to teach reading to elementary school children. On an evaluation form, one of my teacher-students wrote and explained a math problem. He had multiplied the number of teachers in the class with the number of students each of them would encounter in their classrooms come September. The multiple came to over 1,000! “See how many lives you’ve influenced this summer,” he commented.

I’ve often applied a similar concept to being a part of a religious community. It feels like everything one of my sisters does to help other people, I’m involved in as well. My Sisters in Mercy do some wonderful service around the world and whatever one of them does, I am a part of. I know them; I’ve influenced them and they have influenced me.

I’ve spent time traveling around visiting sisters at their ministry sites. I’ve seen first-hand what they do. I help them. I encourage them. I marvel at them. I pray with and for them.

And conversely, when I do my ministry, I do not do it alone. I have a whole community of my sisters—far and wide—involved with me in my endeavors. Locally we work together and pray together and enjoy having fun together. Sometimes we gather in larger venues with sisters from various parts of the Institute of Mercy. It’s supportive, challenging and enjoyable. To me, Mercy means friendship, support, challenge and a deep and meaningful prayer life shared with others.

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