Mercy Unfolding

by Beate Matthies
“Published in: “Praying for Peace – A selection of prayers and reflections” (Pax Christi Aotearoa 2018).

Koru – the fern leaf unfolding.
Koru – a symbol of hope.
Koru – a symbol of growth.
The stem reaching long and thin towards the sky.

Without the desire to strive towards light and space the koru cannot develop.

When the fern leaf is born, it is still curled up.
Before the beautiful green leaves can develop, the stem has to straighten up.

The round shape of the loop protects.
It is still developing and is formed according to the circumstances.

The fronds seem to emerge from these korus.
Delicately spread out they give protection but are also vulnerable.

The koru is life unfolding. Everything is prepared. The leaves are not missing. They are only curled up – ready to unfold once the time has come.

Like an embryo in its mother’s womb. Everything is prepared.
The child will be born when the time is right.

What about Mercy? Mercy unfolding.
We can show Mercy to one another. We can show Mercy to ourselves.

When is the right time? Is it only once?
How many times shall I forgive? 7 times… No – 77 times…

Mercy cannot be counted. Mercy is like a koru.
The beginning and the end so close together that they create a circle.

Mercy involves the heart rather than the mind:
Misericordia – having one’s heart with the poor.

Mercy develops from the heart.
True compassion is sharing the pain rather than giving alms.

Like the koru needs light and space to grow.
Mercy needs an open heart and a listening ear.

Dear Lord,

We often close our hearts and walk blind-folded through our lives.
May we have the courage to open our hearts and see the people who need us.

Help us that we are not judgmental but forgiving.
May we have the willingness to grow and overcome obstacles between us.

Let Mercy grow in our hearts and unfold towards others and ourselves.
May your Mercy towards us create in us passion for justice and peace.

Your Mercy is the gift of love and compassion for all of us.
May we always be grateful for your Grace and Mercy.

Strengthen us so that we will stand up for others and support them.
May we also feel accepted and trusted by others.

Let us be happy and joyful witnesses of your presence and never ending love.