Reflection 269: A Twofold Gaze at Mercy and Misery


If you could pick two things to gaze at, what would they be?  Ideally, the two greatest things to gaze at are the Mercy of God and your own misery.  Most likely, it immediately makes sense that the Mercy of God would be one of the most important things to gaze at, but the wisdom of gazing at your own misery may not be immediately apparent.  What we need to understand is that there is danger in seeing only one or the other.  If you were to focus in on the Mercy of God without also seeing your misery, then you would not be in a position to invite that Mercy into the parts of your life that need it the most.  And if you were to gaze at your misery without also seeing the Mercy of God, you would be led into despair.  The Mercy of God is given so that every sin, hurt, confusion, struggle and the like will have a remedy.  Our Lord longs to heal us and lift our burdens.  Allow His Mercy to meet all that burdens you and His Mercy will achieve its end (See Diary #1345).

Try to take some time to quietly and reflectively gaze at both God’s Mercy and your own inner burdens.  As you look at both, try to imagine them meeting within the sanctuary of your soul.  Let the Mercy of God fuse with any misery you experience in life and, in that act, you will be allowing God to do what He longs to do.

Lord, please have Mercy on me and heal me.  Help me to see the areas of my life that are in grave need of Your Mercy.  As I see them, help me to also fix my eyes upon Your Sacred Heart from which Mercy and grace flow.  In this gaze, may I discover Your unending compassion and love and so be healed of all that burdens me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Novena to St. Thérèse, the Little Flower
September 22-30

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Featured image above: Frederick Arthur Bridgman – The Prayer, via flickr