Let’s continue with the acrostic analysis of the leading word for this Jubilee year MISERICORDIA (mercy).
This month the words are spirituality and humanity.
“Spirituality is the backbone of all service in the Church and in Christian life. It is what nourishes all our activity, sustaining and protecting it from human frailty and daily temptation. Humanity is what embodies the truthfulness of our faith; those who renounce their humanity renounce everything. Humanity is what makes us different from machines and robots which feel nothing and are never moved. Once we find it hard to weep seriously or to laugh heartily – these are just two signs – we have begun our decline and the process of turning from “humans” into something else. Humanity is knowing how to show tenderness and fidelity and courtesy to all (cf. Phil 4:5). Spirituality and humanity, while innate qualities, are a potential needing to be activated fully, attained completely and demonstrated daily.”
Jesus Christ is the perfect union of spirituality and humanity. He is the source and model for each single vocation and as lay people we are asked to follow his path: incarnation, death and resurrection (meeting with history, passion and death within history, service as a sign of resurrection in history). Life in the light of the Spirit means to experience this incarnation avoiding the short path of spiritualism and fundamentalism. The driving force of spirituality is a strong relationship with God, this means a care of the sacramental life, participation in the community liturgy, reading and reflection on the Word of God, a personal life of prayer.
As the Magisterium from the Vatican Council states: “in order that love, as good seed may grow and bring forth fruit in the soul, each one of the faithful must willingly hear the Word of God and accept His Will, and must complete what God has begun by their own actions with the help of God's grace. These actions consist in the use of the sacraments and in a special way the Eucharist, frequent participation in the sacred action of the Liturgy, application of oneself to prayer, self-abnegation, lively fraternal service and the constant exercise of all the virtues.”(LG 42)
During this Lenten period of this Jubilee Year of Mercy, which is the time to prepare for the Easter of Resurrection, we have an opportunity to reinforce our spirituality and at the same time give a special attention to fraternal love and to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Prayer from DIVES IN MISERICORDIA
“In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and risen, in the spirit of His messianic mission, enduring in the history of humanity, we raise our voices and pray that the Love which is in the Father may once again be revealed at this stage of history, and that, through the work of the Son and Holy Spirit, it may be shown to be present in our modern world and to be more powerful than evil: more powerful than sin and death. We pray for this through the intercession of her who does not cease to proclaim "mercy...from generation to generation," and also through the intercession of those for whom there have been completely fulfilled the words of the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
Evangelii Gaudium 78-80; 93-97; 262-283 https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html
Lumen Gentium 30 – 42 http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html
Dives in Misericordia 2-3 http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_30111980_dives-in-misericordia.html
Pope Francis speech to the Curia Romana: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2015/december/documents/papa-francesco_20151221_curia-romana.html