Californian Amanda Berg has just completed her training in Spiritual Direction at the Jesuit Manresa Centre of Spirituality in Dublin. As a Lutheran, she warmly welcomes Pope Francis’s declaration of a Year of Mercy.
She quotes his words, “Wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy,” and says that sadly this isn’t always the case among many Christians but nonetheless his words strongly resonate with her. “Ever since there have been people, we’ve been in need of mercy,” she says.
“As a Lutheran, a term that is sometimes used along with mercy is ‘grace’. Mercy is a subset of an overarching grace that we get from God. Grace encompasses even more but it begins with mercy,” she says.
“When we have received mercy ourselves, our cup becomes so full, full of gratitude that comes from God.” But as well as experiencing gratitude we also experience a call. “We realise that our job is to go about the business of being that compassion to others, that being ‘Christ with skin on’ for others. As part of the body of Christ that’s what we are called to do and be”.