Today, December 8, 2015, Pope Francis pushes open the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, formally launching the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican. During his homily, he highlighted the primacy of grace.

“Were sin the only thing that mattered, we would be the most desperate of creatures,” Pope Francis said. “But the promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy…The Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness of this promise and its fulfilment.”

The Holy Father went on to say that the Holy 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.”

He went on to say: “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” – he said – “May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan.” (read more)

Since today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and also our Foundation Day, we enter into this Holy Year of Mercy invoking the intercession of our Lady. In our own particular way as cloistered religious, we want to heed the Holy Father’s invitation and accept the challenge that this Holy Year poses before us. May the mercy of our Lord continually be revealed in us and through us, so that through our hidden life of prayer, sacrifices, atonement and adoration, through our life of mercy and love, the “message of mercy may reach everyone, and may no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy.” (Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis)