By Erynn Lewis, senior studying theology and sociology | Campus Ministry office assistant
My Lenten journey this year has been guided by the homily that I heard on Ash Wednesday. The priest said that the purpose of Lent is to experience God’s mercy – I have been trying to discover what exactly this means.
One of my favorite metaphors for God’s mercy comes from St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She explains mercy is like imagining our hearts tethered to God’s heart by a string. When we sin, we cut that string. But God, in His mercy, reties the string, pulling us closer to Him.
St. Thérèse recognized her own weaknesses in her ability to love others but relied on God’s mercy to help her through her struggles. Thinking of St. Thérèse, this Lenten season I have been trying to trust in God’s mercy like she did. I have been trying to “retie” strings with friends with whom I’ve had poor relationships with recently.
Many times throughout this Lenten season, my prayer has been for reconciliation in broken relationships and for a better understanding of God’s love for me. Now, we enter Holy Week and celebrate Christ’s passion. Each year the celebration of the Triduum reminds me of the deep, sacrificial love that God has for me and for all of us.
This year, however, I want to approach Holy Week through a lens of mercy. Jesus washes the feet of His disciples, breaks the bread and dies on the cross — all out of mercy on us and with great love for us. Then, He rises on Easter, again out of a mercy that will draw us near to Him and a mercy that shows us that we are His beloved.
I hope to celebrate Easter with the knowledge that Christ is continually pulling my heart closer to His own and that you experience His love for you too!