remember not only the men and woman of goodwill,
but all those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us;
remember the fruits we have bought thanks to this suffering;
our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility,
our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this.
And when they come to judgment,
let all the fruits we have borne
Be their forgiveness.
-Found at the side of a dead child in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, 1945
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Am I willing to forgive those who have harmed me? Do I intentionally cultivate a spirit of mercy?
Do I show mercy toward myself in my brokenness and sin? Do I hold myself to higher standards than others around me, expecting perfection when I know it is not possible on my own?
Am I harsh or judgmental with others, inflicting undue punishments on my family, children, or those in my care?
Do I support violent or punitive punishment for those who break the law, or am I willing to prioritize mercy and public safety over vengeance and retribution?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Where does my faith rank in my life? Is it one thing among many, or is it the most important thing?
Do I sincerely discern God’s will for my life to the best of my ability, and do what God asks of me? Do fear or feelings of inadequacy keep me from answering the prompting of the Spirit?
Have I allowed the Gospel to shape and inform my world view, choices, and where I invest my time, money, and other resources?
Are there smaller “gods” that come before God in my life – money, food, busyness, prestige, recognition? What sin(s) continues to distract me from embracing God’s will?
Take this week to honestly examine your life and your priorities. Hold your life up to the light of Christ. Look for imperfections and shortcomings. Resolve to be open to conversion and to be better with and for the Lord.
Let Us Pray
O God, help us to show others the same mercy we hope to receive from them and from You. Amen.
For Your Inspiration
Each week, we will have a special download for each form of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (ACTS). Download this week’s printable below.
Sarah Babbs is a writer and mother of three, including twin toddlers. She writes about faith, social teaching, and navigating life as a motherless daughter and mother. You can find out more about her here.