Heart of Mercy

Heart of Mercy

On the grounds of the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Brisbane, Vocation Brisbane has installed a heart sculpture bearing the title “HEART OF MERCY”.

In cities, particularly throughout Europe, there have been bridges where young couples go to clip locks to declare their commitment for one another – this sculpture will become such a location for the people of Brisbane this year. Not limited to romantic commitments, those discerning commitments to single, ordained, and the religious life will be encouraged to add their given lock to the Heart, and to say a prayer for their discernment, their vocation, and for a continually renewed understanding of the Mercy of God in this Extraordinary Jubilee.

The sculpture itself serves as a visual reminder of the merciful Sacred Heart of Jesus, standing visible to church-goers and passers-by alike. During this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis encourages us to encounter the Mercy of God. Vocation Brisbane is encouraging visitors to the Precinct to clip their locks to the Vocation Brisbane Heart of Mercy and pray the HEART RITUAL – for those living out their baptismal vocation and for the enduring mercy of Christ in all our lives.

The Heart Ritual prayer reads:

Lord Jesus You are loving,

Your mercy endures forever.

You are compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, overflowing with love and faithfulness.

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,

of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.

Turn to me and have mercy on me, forgive my sins and grant me the Grace to the life worthy of Your praise,

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord,

Amen.

Pope Francis Commences Year of Mercy

Pope Francis Commences Year of Mercy

On the 8th of December, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (and also the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council), Pope Francis began the Year of Mercy as he opened the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica. The action marks the beginning of a year where pilgrims are granted a special indulgence by entering the Holy Door, opened in basilicas, cathedrals, shrines and some churches around the world. 

Below is an excerpt from the Pope's homily:

This Extraordinary Year is itself a gift of grace. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us! This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy. How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy (cf. Saint Augustine, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, 12, 24)! But that is the truth. We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel thatwe ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things... Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel, and the mercy and forgiveness of God...The Jubilee challenges us to this openness, and demands that we not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan, as Blessed Paul VI expressed it at the conclusion of the Council. May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan.

Pilgrims attend a papal mass in St Peter's square for the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on December 8, 2015 in Vatican (AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro)

Pilgrims attend a papal mass in St Peter's square for the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on December 8, 2015 in Vatican (AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro)