I have been reflecting on Mercy for the past several months. Here I am again, after reading the first reading for today, faced with the words “mercifully treated.” St. Paul was speaking about himself, explaining how Jesus was so merciful to him. Jesus came to save sinners and was so patient with Paul, he explains of himself.
Today’s date reminds me of how merciful God was with me. Three years ago, on this day, I would have been due to have a baby. However, the Lord had different plans for this soul. He took the baby home to heaven, to eternity, through miscarriage. Interestingly, but not coincidentally, I lost the baby on the due date of another baby I miscarried. It was 3 pm, the hour of mercy, when the doctors could no longer detect a heartbeat. Just days before, her heartbeat was healthy and strong. It seems taboo to speak of miscarriage in our culture, perhaps other cultures too. I am not sure. However, I think we should speak of loss, the experiences and lessons from it, and the peace that comes when we allow God to do the work in us. It may help others in their healing process.
To say we were devastated would be an understatement. Our family wept and grieved over this loss for a very long time. Yet, we know God’s promises. We know His plans are special and better than we could ever plan for ourselves. That He allowed me to suffer WITH him; I’ve never felt so close to the cross as I did in those months. It was as though I could feel the cool dirt under my knees as I knelt and ached with my Lord at the foot of the cross. He asked me to trust, to hand everything over to Him. He rewards our “yes.” Maybe not in the ways we expect, but He does. Looking back, there were so many consolations in a time of desolation. The love our children displayed for a soul that they had not met yet was remarkable. I explained that they have their very own saint to ask for intercession at any time. And we do. Often.
The abundance of grace and blessings that came from this experience are far too great for this little space. Perhaps I can dive more deeply another time. But I think our perspective needs to be in check at all times. Do you see how God is merciful with you? Even if it does not appear that way initially? We constantly need to remind ourselves that this earthly life is so very short. Our losses here are worth our salvation. Are we preparing ourselves for eternity? Is what we are doing today for His glory? How can we be merciful to others, as our Father is with us? These are all important questions we need to be continually asking ourselves. I challenge you to start with the Works of Mercy. You won’t regret it.