The thoughts, "Grace can pierce stone. Grace can pierce the emptiness of years. Grace, like water can seep through the tiniest cracks in the armor of the soul. Grace, like air, comes unseen, and we discover how necessary it is for life." kept running through my mind as I drove, and I repeated the thoughts as images in my head so I wouldn't forget.
The girls sat discussing how they'd write to someone who was incarcerated for hate crimes, and what they would say. They weren't sure it would be just to be generous or forgiving to people who committed such grave offense, when those who were injured by the offenses still might bear scars from the events. But God gives mercy to Cain, marking Him with a sign to all the world, this son I love, this son I will protect. Despite Cain's sin against his brother and God, God offers him not merely mercy, but ongoing mercy for his life. Grace is in essence, God's limitless love, manifested as mercy, upon us, His limited creatures.
Mercy remains, as Pope Francis constantly reminds us, amazingly possible for all who seek for it. This does not mean the grace is won in an instant, for always, God wants us to go deeper and deeper into relationship with Him. For that to happen, sometimes, we need the cross of time, so as to lean more solidly on God than ourselves. We do not receive mercy via anything but God's generosity. It reflects both God's heart, and the extent to which the soul of the person extending forgiveness or forbearance, is molded by God's heart.
So today, as it is August 11th, the day I asked Catholic bloggers to offer penance and prayer for peace, both in their homes and hearts, and in the world both online and out there, I am praying for peace, for the whole world to be bathed in mercy, so that it might become more real and more natural, more what it was always intended to be. Such a reality would be amazing, all the more so, because it is possible.