Last December, Pope Francis began the Holy Year of Mercy, inviting us all to open wide the doors of our hearts. For this, our school theme for 2016 is “Be the Face of Mercy”. To help us apply this theme, the leadership team has constructed fortnightly reflections, which we call “The Map to Mercy”. I would like to share with you our 12th map to Mercy for the year:
This Map-to-Mercy is that indifference is the obstacle to mercy: mercy’s first step is to fight indifference.
Indifference “makes our hearts grow cold”. It blocks the channels of mercy just like blood clots in the veins. Being indifferent blocks the channel of God’s love and mercy that He wants to radiate through each one of us. We cannot do charitable works of mercy if our hearts are unmoved.
Pope Francis is inviting everyone to open their hearts to God and to overcome a “globalization of indifference”. Being indifferent causes individuals and communities to withdraw into themselves, closing their doors and their hearts. The Pope teaches us to pray for a heart that becomes, “merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.” St Paul teaches us ““If one member suffers, all suffer together”.
This ties in with the corporal work of mercy: “shelter the homeless”. It is very easy for us to be indifferent to people on the streets around us because it is easier to ignore them and “follow the crowd”. Being indifferent means that we do not care and sometimes we chose not to care because it takes less effort – it is the simple way out. However, sometimes what’s easy isn’t necessarily what’s right and in the words of Dumbledore: “there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
Indifference will grow in us if we choose to close ourselves off from the world and focus only on our own comfort, pleasure and problems without looking up to see if we can help someone in need. Let’s try to put others first and to be more aware of our surroundings: at school, at home, and on the street.