2015 — Quote, Unquote
Looking back on 2015, here are 10 power quotes that bookmarked the year for us here in the Editorial Department of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. You'll notice the list is top-heavy with Pope Francis quotes. (How could it not be?) We'll let the words speak for themselves. May they inspire us all to redouble our efforts in the New Year to live the message of Divine Mercy. Consider sharing in the comments section below some of your own favorite quotes of the year.
In no particular order:
1. A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people stays barren. And instead of an oasis, it creates more deserts.
— Pope Francis' remarks to the bishops at the closing of the second phase of the Synod on the Family, Oct. 25
2. We will cope.
— German chancellor Angela Merkel, Nov. 25. Chancellor Merkel has vowed to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad, which has intensified due to growing security fears.
3. This is a year that we are to be reconciled — to each other and to the Father. May this Year of Mercy be a year in which we will measure our future life. May it be the year in which we say, "The good Lord has transformed me."
— Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians' provincial superior, upon the opening of the Holy Door of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, Dec. 8
4. At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father's action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church; a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.
— Pope Francis, in his Papal Bull of Indiction that officially declared the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Saturday, April 11
5. I thought, why not challenge ourselves?
— Father Scott A. Euvrard of Holy Family Parish in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Oct. 10, founder of the 1,000,000 Works of Mercy campaign
6. Yeah, it was a random act of kindness, but to me it's more about respect.
— Josh Cyganik of Pendleton, Oregon, speaking of a poor couple. He had overheard teens laugh at the couple's ramshackle home while the man sat on his front porch. Through Facebook, Josh asked for volunteers to lend a hand renovating the house. Stores donated supplies, and 100 people gathered on July 18. The house looks beautiful now.
7. I just saw her as a mom going through a really difficult time.
— Officer Mark Engravalle of the Roeland Park Police Department in Kansas. Officer Engravalle had responded to a shoplifting call in early July. The shoplifter was a poor mother of six children. The items she attempted to steal were necessities, like diapers and shoes. Officer Engravalle used his own money to purchase the items the family needed.
8. Where God is born, mercy flourishes. Mercy is the most precious gift which God gives us, especially during this Jubilee year in which we are called to discover that tender love of our heavenly Father for each of us. May the Lord enable prisoners in particular to experience his merciful love, which heals wounds and triumphs over evil.
— Pope Francis' Christmas message, Dec. 25
9. Why is it great to be Catholic? Not because of Catholic art, or poetry, or music, or literature, or the civilization created by the Catholic Church, to which we owe the invention of parliamentary government, the hospital, the university, the scientific method and Magna Carta (great as these are). The apostles did not go into the world announcing a new social program that would give us Florence Nightingale, the transistor, Dante, Shakespeare and the Lord of the Rings. They went into the world fired with the unbelievably good news that God the Son had become man, died on the Cross, been raised from the dead, and now sat at the right hand of the Father holding out nothing less than the promise that we could share in His eternal Triune life and enjoy ecstasy at His side forever!
— columnist Mark Shea, Oct. 22
10. The Divine Mercy message is a very specific life plan because it involves action. ... If you want me to be very specific, I would suggest that for the first seven months of 2016 you choose a corporal and a spiritual work of mercy to practice each month. Find inspiration in the prayer of Saint Faustina, a humble apostle of Divine Mercy in our times.
— Pope Francis, in his official message for World Youth Day, which will take place July 25-31, in Krakow, Poland.
The prayer he recommends is the following, taken from St. Faustina's Diary:
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor. (163)