Hidden Mercy and Grace

Billy and Archbishop Hughes

Archbishop Hughes is officially retired from his role here in New Orleans. But he never retired from serving the kingdom with hidden acts of mercy and grace. This week he blessed the new apartment of my friends Billy and Bobbi Jo, after they graduated from Project Lazarus. Can you believe an archbishop took the time to go into a Marigny apartment to bless the dwelling where my friends now live?

He didn’t bring the paparazzi. He didn’t even create this “photo op.” They just wanted a record of the blessing and snapped a pic.

How I wish the thing called “television news” was filled with the fascinating and wonderful hidden acts of mercy and grace which are happening by the millions across our earth home. Archbishop Hughes finds it natural to go around offering blessings in unseen ways. So do millions of good-hearted people everywhere. Why isn’t hidden mercy and grace SEEN? Why is this stuff not publicized?

Sometimes we get lucky and a flash-mob gets recorded doing a spontaneous dance to an inspiring song like “Do-re-me” from the Sound of Music movie. My wife shared one such YouTube recently from a German train station and I must admit I cried a little. I wished I had the means to share it in worship at my church. If that stuff goes viral and gets shared on Facebook everywhere, why doesn’t it make the news?

Archbishop Hughes will probably not go viral with his weekly visits to share hidden mercy and grace at Project Lazarus. For one thing, no one is usually there recording it. And most of the millions who are spreading such blessings all around us are “hidden” because they are not waiting to see if anyone is looking.

This IS news people. So I call you to one of the most important acts of living on a contemplative path. Watch for an appearance of the Divine in hidden ways all around you. Don’t wait for the evening news to alert you to the real news. They are busy looking for the one bad thing that is happening in all the world today.

Your mission, if you accept it, is to keep those eyes and ears open for the next coming of hidden mercy and grace. And if you really want to have some fun today, go out there and offer some hidden mercy and grace yourself. That way you get to be one with the One who is spreading the love everywhere and always. And don’t wait for TV news to show this stuff. Be the news this day!

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About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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