The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a “Mercy Word of the Week” to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University’s Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Uplift: Consider the word “uplift.” It feels light and airy. It rings of the sky, the sun, the stars and other celestial bodies. It reminds us of the need to lift each other up endlessly – like the universe itself. It reminds us to keep our countenance aloft and to thank the Almighty for the good things we have and the support we lend to each other.
We are called to look beyond ourselves. How can we uplift each other? How can we uplift our community? We can look to the words and actions of Jesus: “…at the heart of Catholic social teaching is something both simple and noble: an effort to make the actions and words of Jesus real again today to transform and uplift social life for all people in light of the gospel.”* If we consider this message, we are aware of the call to uplift God’s people. We then hopefully respond in grace, peace, and thanks when others attempt to uplift us, those around us, and our communities.
The act of uplifting can take many forms. It may be spiritual, physical or emotional. It can be practical and simple, such as a random act of kindness, or more intentional and focused like the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy. We should remember that we are all capable of uplifting one another and should not shy away from the effort. We can support, encourage, share, enrich, heal, protect, inspire, improve and ultimately – uplift.
The following passage about Mother Mary Gertrude Doyle from Memoirs of The Pittsburgh Sisters of Mercy (Compiled from Various Sources) seems apt: “The miserable whom she comforted, the fallen whom she tried to uplift, the needy to whom she gave with lavish generosity–these could best record her deeds…” Like Mother Doyle, let our students, colleagues and others who benefit from this institution be those who could best record the ways in which we educate, serve, and uplift.
*From “Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching” by Christopher Kaczor in Catholic Answer Magazine.
Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs