Jubilee Year of Mercy
Fr. Wade’s Blog, May 2016
“Holy Mother Church as a ‘Field Hospital’”
Hello friends, Fr. Wade Menezes here of the Fathers of Mercy with another “Mercy Moment” for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy called for by Pope Francis.
One of the most beautiful images of the Church that I have ever come across is that of the “field hospital” during a time of combat or war. Pope Francis provides this analogy in his most recent book titled, The Name of God is Mercy – but he uses it in the context of sinners who precisely recognize themselves as, well, sinners, and who need the mercy of God to become healed. The Holy Father states the following:
“…the Church is called on to pour its mercy over all those who recognize themselves as sinners, who assume responsibility for the evil they have committed, and who feel in need of forgiveness. The Church does not exist to condemn people but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God’s mercy. I often say that in order for this to happen, it is necessary to go out…I like to use the image of a field hospital to describe this ‘Church that goes forth’; it exists where there is combat, it is not a solid structure with all the equipment where people go to receive treatment for both small and large infirmities. It is a mobile structure that offers first aid and immediate care, so that its soldiers do not die. It’s a place for urgent care, not a place to see a specialist.” (p. 52-53)
Pope Francis also teaches us that “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life” and that “The Church has an endless desire to show mercy.” (MV, p. 119) To this end, as St. John Paul II states, “The Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy – the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer – and when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser.” (MV, p. 122)
That’s Holy Mother Church, my friends: the Bride of Christ, the “field hospital”, looking for the wounded to help them become healed.
And that’s another Mercy Moment. I’m Fr. Wade Menezes of the Fathers of Mercy. Be sure to visit the Fathers of Mercy website at fathersofmercy.com and follow us on Facebook. God bless you.