Mercy and forbearance.
In this post-election season, as too many people are losing their collective minds and acting like terrified children instead of rational adults, the quality of mercy may indeed become strained. But is is mercy we are called to nonetheless, especially to those who seem the least deserving (even if they are ourselves).
Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, we have a new film to remind us of how important mercy is, and all the ways it continues to work in the lives of the faithful. Since mid-October, “The Face of Mercy,” narrated by Jim Caviezel, has been airing on ABC affiliates around the country under the aegis of the Interfaith Broadcasting Council. It’s also available on DVD.
“These testimonies remind us that Divine Mercy is not just a devotion or theological concept – it is alive, it is present, and it is a force that can transform the world,” Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson said Nov. 14.
The one-hour film “The Face of Mercy” depicts mercy as the antidote to evil even in great difficulty. Narrated by actor Jim Caviezel, the film interweaves history, theology, and testimonials about the importance of mercy in people’s lives.
Testimonies come from Immaculée Ilibagiza, who forgave those who murdered her family in the Rwandan genocide; a New York police officer who works for peace despite having been shot and paralyzed from the waist down; a young widow who forgave the killer of her husband; a baseball player who became a priest; and a former NFL linebacker who now shares Christ’s mercy with the homeless.
The film was produced by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order with 1.9 million members worldwide.
Anderson said the film “highlights the sort of transformations that are possible in individual lives that embrace the way of mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.”
Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy comes to an end on Nov. 30, but what have we learned? What should we have learned? From an essay on the special at the Faith & Family Media Blog:
We often look for answers in the face of injustices — big and small. What does justice look like for a widow whose husband was murdered? Or for a young woman whose family was killed in the Rwandan genocide? What about injustices done to others when we feel powerless to help? If we look at our own lives, there are injustices big and small that seem as if there is no easy answer. This new film dives into the personal stories behind difficult moments such as these.
Divine Mercy is the mysterious answer to this daily experience of disillusionment, fear and injustice. Divine Mercy is a reminder of the reality of the person of Jesus Christ, of the gift of His love and mercy freely given to us. Mercy makes our love capable of forgiving. And only with forgiveness can we live justly with one another in our families, workplaces and towns.
“I often tell people that I am the poster child for Divine Mercy. I’ve hurt so many people and yet there is mercy for someone like me,” Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, says in the film’s trailer.
A few stations haven’t yet aired “The Face of Mercy.” Here’s a list of those between now and the end of the broadcast window on Dec. 16 (here’s the full broadcast schedule):
Here are some clips:
These and more can be found here.
Image: Courtesy Knights of Columbus