By Sister M. Judith Waldt, MHSH
The Latin term for Mercy is Misericordia. This is illustrative in that the meaning of the term “Miseria” refers to suffering, which so many people experience in many and varied ways. “Cordia” refers to the heart. Thus, Misericordia means joining in one’s heart to the suffering of others. This is the core of what extending Mercy is all about – uniting our hearts to the suffering of others, placing our lives in solidarity with the suffering.
If we reflect on the Incarnation – how God enters into our world and embraces our humanity – we see that God chooses to unite the Sacred Heart of his Son to our suffering. God does not do this out of necessity but out of love. Our suffering is transformed, not eliminated. It is akin to visiting someone who is ill in the hospital – not because you have to, but rather, freely, and from love.
Their suffering is transformed, not eliminated, because they are no longer alone. The one who chooses out of love to enter into their suffering changes the reality. When we think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus joining his heart to our suffering, it reminds us that we are no longer alone.
As Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, this is our mission: to enter into the suffering of others out of love and to bring the Sacred Heart to them. In doing so, we do not eliminate suffering, but transform it by the love of the Sacred Heart, helping people know that they are not alone.