Suggestions for the Year of Mercy
We are in the early stages of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, in which we are being asked to receive the Father’s mercy so we can bestow it upon others.
As well as being purposeful ourselves in living many acts of mercy this year, we in business have additional opportunities to reach people to let them know of the extraordinary gifts of this Jubilee Year. One of the best ways to receive God’s mercy is to make a good Confession — and to commit to a regular Confession schedule going forward.
What can we and our companies do to direct the mercy of the Father to others? Here are some suggestions. Pick three or four and live them well — and enlist members of your family to join you!
Pray and offer a small sacrifice so that a particular family member or friend will return to the Church. That usually only requires them to go to Confession. Invite and then go to Confession with them.
Find the churches that offer adoration and get into the habit of stopping for five or 10 minutes to pray for the spiritual health of your family and those in your company.
Tell a friend how important they are in God’s eyes — that if they were the only person on earth, Christ would have suffered and died for them. Show them the incredible dignity they have before God!
Identify the Jubilee Holy Doors in your diocese (every diocese has
at least one). Take your children or grandchildren with you, and explain to them what it is. You can each obtain a plenary indulgence by walking through the door and fulfilling the other conditions (detachment from all sin, Holy Communion, Confession, and prayers for the Pope) within a few days of the visit.
Establish the habit of praying the family rosary, perhaps after the dinner dishes are done. Have the family agree on a merciful intention for each night’s rosary.
Remember those in the hospital or at home who should receive the Anointing of the Sick. Get involved and make it happen! Others close to that person may not realize the importance of this sacrament.
Spread the faith by starting a group to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church or by teaching CCD to those difficult middle school students.
Remember your friends who need a gentle “fraternal correction” to get them back on track. Don’t assume someone else will do it.
Pray for a mother you know who has had an abortion. Remind her that any priest can forgive that sin in the Jubilee Year.
Tell people in your company or business unit that we’re in a Year of Mercy. Most everyone likes Pope Francis so they’ll probably accept the idea. Encourage small groups to come up with ideas for living mercy in your organization. Then ask each to commit to doing a small number per day.
When you’re interrupted at work, welcome it. Give that person your full attention until the matter is presented or resolved.
Ask yourself several times a day: “How can I help this or that person succeed at work?”
Praise a colleague’s comment during a meeting. Bite your tongue so as not to criticize another’s comment.
Ask those who report to you how things are at home. Then give them the time to explain, and see if giving them some time off or letting them work from home would help ease the pressure.
Ask the spouses of your employees what changes in the work environment would improve their family life. Pick and implement two or three and let them know they were heard.
Simply pray for people at work two or three times during the work day. Pray that God’s will for them be accomplished.
Don’t interrupt a colleague. Listen to the whole answer before offering a comment.
Remember that to direct God’s mercy to others, we first have to receive that mercy ourselves. Ask God for his mercy and then for help to extend it to those in need.
BILL BOWMAN is a member of the advisory board at the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America. He is president and CEO of Core Values Group LLC in Boston.