There has been a lot of talk related to the Holy Year of Mercy ever since Pope Francis declared the same. Well, these are not official guidelines relating to that, as I am not qualified for that. If you are asking about on what authority I am providing these, I would say that it is based on my vision on what I would want to do on a Holy Year. Yes, helping others is a major thing to do, but other than that, I have to add a few things that people can really do, especially if they respect Pope’s messages and call themselves Catholic. At least for an year, can you try these?
So, how do you get to the quality of mercy? Does that fly towards you and provide opportunities to be merciful? No, it doesn’t. You have to bring it to your life. Which are those parts of life where you can show that quality? I would say that the first one where it can be done is in the case of food. It is the Holy Year of Mercy, and do try to go vegetarian. I know that most of you will find that difficult and so lets just try to keep it as much vegetarian as possible. Obviously, it is not easy to keep being so during the functions.
Showing mercy to the animals and birds is a nice thing indeed. That brings me back to the final word of the last paragraph – functions. Lets consider that you are going to be married this year. Why don’t you take the message of compassion right into you on this special day of your life? Can you spend less for these functions and use the money to provide at least one day’s food for the orphanages or old age homes which will make sure that your most important day will be remembered by people in need? Doesn’t it satisfy a good soul that his or her day goes on in the best way possible for those who are not having the happy days of life?
Do you need a fancy car which doesn’t belong to you on the wedding day, especially when everyone knows that it is not yours? If you have a car or a relative does, isn’t it better to use that one itself instead of spending some extra money for rent there? Do you need so many groomsmen and bridesmaids which your elders had declared not part of our culture? At least keep the number low! Do you need to spend so much money on the clothing when you are not going to use them again? Is it necessary to make a show when it is a function supposed to be a union of souls? Shouldn’t the priests be caring about this rather than coming up with that ridiculous compulsory pre-marital course? Why would you generalize people and not understand that individuals are not the same, and they won’t be needing a course on the exact same thing?
I would suggest providing pre-wedding classes instead of the pre-maritial thing to the vain people, especially the parents and relatives of the bride and groom. They are also in real need for mercy and compassion classes. Well, is this the kind of mercy that the church is going to witness and what the Holy Father had intended? And do you need so many types of food items being served to people? Different types of meat and fish – what is the point? Is this a program to have food or the function which has two people decide to be together each other? Why should the focus be so much on a dead chicken or goat on a plate rather than the bride and the groom? All these because you need to boast about it? If it is the case, get married every year. Maybe something can be done about the funerals too in the name of bloody vanity.
Marriages are made in heaven, they say. So, do we except the display of such signs of vanity there? It is not easy for vanity and mercy to co-exist. These days, I try to attend less number of marriages, because they are all just bloody show-off. I get those invitation cards and I feel nothing; there is no real feeling to attend. If you are having a certain function for the rich and too many of the poor and the subaltern are in the surroundings not having enough, your marriage will not be Holy Matrimony, but a strange thing which is everything except holy. People should get married because they want to; not to show it to the society.
So, at least in the Holy Year, show some mercy, to your fellow human beings as well as those animals and birds around us. Lets waste less food, have more vegetarian items and show less vanity at a wedding. I am quite confident that too many people will find this one difficult; still there will be people who will display some signs of mercy here or there. But I say that if you want to make an impression, make the righteous impression, and not what the others tell you is right. If you want to spend money, spend it on the poor; those who are really in need of your quality of mercy. Be the brother and sister to the people in need, and be the personification of mercy. Also, take time to forgive more.
***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.