By Mercy Undone

Photo by Joe Grant © 2019

Go, learn what this means, ‘It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.’
For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.
Matthew 9:13

When so many jockey for privilege and position, with whom do you locate your life?

In Haiti they say:
We see from where we stand.
So, how we stand, and with whom becomes critical.

By-standing is not the same as with-standing,
and understanding is the fruit
of much more than standing still.

Humble solidarity with the castigated ones,
soaking together under mercy’s reign,
invites refreshing reconciliation.

For you, Holy One, are good and full of mercy,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Psalm 86:5

We might, for a time, stay safe in our heads,
protected by sureties, shoring up opinions,
polishing personal perspectives on everything and everyone.

But sooner or later, seeping through the cracks,
mercy usurps personal preeminence
by exposing our failings and fallacies.

And, when we fall, as surely we shall, we all want mercy.
But first we must pay the admission;
stooping humbly through the low doorway to forgiveness.

What was cruel has become merciful. What is now merciful was never cruel. I have always overshadowed Jonas with My mercy and cruelty I know not at all. Have you had sight of Me, Jonas my child? Mercy within mercy within mercy.  Thomas Merton

Perhaps this is why mercy feels cruel.
Fractured by failure, deluded by disappointment,
we are forced to face pain, darkness, and chasms too deep.

Our calloused hearts chafe
at compassion’s unction,
as they soak and soften in sorrowful grace.

Debilitated or dispirited
by burdens beyond us
we bend, and like the children we always are, we cry out.

No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, so much the greater must be the love. Pope Francis

When life breaks down,
love breaks out,
mercy over-sweeps us and we are worn permeable.

If this has not yet
happened to you,
mercy might be long overdue.

There are circumstances that must shatter you; and if you are not shattered, then you have not understood your circumstances. In such circumstances, it is a failure for your heart not to break.
Leon Weisseltier

Lord have mercy,
on the land, and on the air.
Christ have mercy, on creatures everywhere.

Christ have mercy on my sister, on my brother.
Lord have mercy on that strange
and most blessed sacrament of the other.

So, if today you hear compassion’s call,
from your core (with courage) respond,
and, free to forgive, let yourself by mercy be undone.


Find me on Facebook and Instagram: @InTheStormStill

Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant

Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace Pre-Order Set For Release On 11/12/2019 12:00:00 AM

To pre-order:

Uncap the Well

Photo by Joe Grant © 2019

Forgive, and you shall know forgiveness; give, and it will be lavished upon you. A goodly measure, pressed down, shaken and spilling over, shall be poured into your lap; for the measure you mete out will be the measure you get back.
Luke 6:37-38

Do you worry and wonder about what is happening to us?

In fear-filled times
we are tempted to protect personal assets,
throw walls around territories, and stockpile for scarcity.

Manipulated messages prey upon the silent (consenting) masses;
milking the venom of vindictiveness;
heightening the instinct to hold back.

With disgraceful insinuations and petulant pronouncements
some conspire only to segregate or scapegoat—
so easy to conquer the so-well sided.

Still others would storm the bastion of righteousness
to poison youthful passion with hateful conspiracies
and horror guised as honor or holiness.

And, as the bar of acceptable human behavior drops,
insults and demonizing ideologies
spiral and spin into dark webs of violent idolatries.

Bluster builds to an acrimonious squall.
Hatred fuels a whirlwind of flapping flags,
fiery crosses, prideful parades of power, mobs and derisive chanting.

And lodged deep, in grainy black and white,
memories of dread-full times (not so long past)
stir-up a disorienting dose of déjà vu.

Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion. Meister Eckhart

What bridge can span
the canyons of bitter segregation,
amid a hailstorm of threats and taunts?

Surely truthful reconciliation
is the only conduit capable of crossing the chasm
that separates retribution from restoration.

But who dares display
the necessary remorse
that gives way to mutual pardon?

Love every enemy,
to those who despise you do good,
bless everyone who curses you,
pray for anyone who abuses you.

Luke 6:27-28

There is no time left for holding back tears.
Only lament can release mercy’s unction
to unhinge the encrusted doorway to peace.

With courageous resolution,
daily choosing love over control,
we can gently and persistently uncap the well of great-fullness.

Now, generosity and gratitude
overflow the brimming bounty of blessings,
freely received and given and shared.

Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children, we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change. Joan Chittister

Will you bare
a listening heart
to a torrent of tirades?

Will you unseal the font of forgiveness within,
to lavish compassion and dwell in abundance
till fear itself is washed away?


Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant

Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace Pre-Order Set For Release On 11/12/2019 12:00:00 AM

To pre-order: