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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

Leadership In Mercy
January 3, 2016

This past December 8th marked the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy, a year in which Pope Francis calls us to reflect on God’s mercy in our lives and, in so doing, become conveyors of mercy to others. The Christophers applaud the Holy Father’s mission and are taking part in it with our own special initiative.
Have you ever considered that a story from your life can change someone else’s life for the better? We believe it can, so we invite you to join us throughout 2016 for “Leadership in Mercy – 52 Weeks,” a storytelling platform on our website (http://www.christophers.org/) aimed at highlighting the many ways that people have been transformed by the call to bring mercy into the world. 
We encourage everyone to take a bit of time to consider the stories of mercy in their midst and the people whose lives have been transformed by the call to service. We are particularly interested in the kind of small vignettes that shed light on the unexpected connections people make when they open their hearts to those in need. 
Father John Catoir, former Director of The Christophers, kicked things off with his own reflection:  “When we began The Christopher Leadership Course,” he wrote, “the idea behind it was to get more people to become Christ-bearers. As Father Keller said: you don't have to be a foreign missionary to bring Christ to others; you can be a carrier of Christ right where you live and work. It’s one thing to be an idealist, but quite another to be effective in leading people to move beyond their comfort zones. Helping to make this a better world takes blood, sweat & tears.”
           Father Catoir continued, “Teaching leadership skills is a work of mercy; it is a way of helping people to make a difference. I was once very timid and not at all inclined to tell anyone what to do. For me, urging others to do more than they felt like doing was a no-no. But a grace hit me: Jesus did exactly that: ‘What you do for the least of My brethren you do for Me.’ These words were a call to action. Once I saw Christ in my weakest neighbor, it made a huge difference in how I responded to him or her...I wish you God’s choicest blessings in the days ahead. May the Lord be your strength and your joy as you help change the world for the better.”
We would love to hear your stories! You can email them to us at mail@christophers.org. Or you can write them down and send them to: The Christophers / 5 Hanover Square / New York, NY 10004.
In the meantime, if you need some ideas on practicing mercy, the Catholic website Aleteia offers some ideas: “1) Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of mercy; 2) Pare down possessions: share your things with the needy; 3) Learn to say this prayer: ‘Dear Lord, bless [annoying person’s name] and have mercy on me!’; 4) Be generous enough to allow someone to help you; people need to feel needed; 5) Take time in prayer to contemplate the good qualities of someone who is difficult for you. Do the same for each member of your family.”
Again, please share your stories with us so we can share them on our website and offer words of encouragement to everyone in need of inspiration and mercy.
 
For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org