Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal's Year of Mercy Advent Reflection

Cardinal Vincent introduces the Year of Mercy in this video.

In the reflection, Cardinal Vincent speaks about Pope Francis' calling of the Year of Mercy as a 'wonderful gift, a marvellous inspiration to get us to the very heart of the Gospel' so that we can 'offer it to others'. 

He recalls that, since first appearing at the window of his study, Pope Francis has spoken of 'the mercy of God being the real driving spirit of the whole of our discipleship of Christ. He says, until we have received, been caressed by the mercy of God, we will not fully understand our discipleship of Christ. So he offers this year that we may be refreshed in our living the faith at its deepest point.'

The Cardinal then reflects on his own experience of the mercy of God, speaking of his need daily to 'begin by asking for God’s mercy for the day ahead' and end the day asking for God's grace to do better tomorrow.

He shares with us: 'Mercy is like the heartbeat of the relationship that I have with the Lord and I just try and let him pick me up again, dust me down, fill me with his grace.'

He also invites us to look on this Year of Mercy as a pilgrimage. He explains that 'when we go on pilgrimage, we leave our customary ways' and 'we set out to find the mercy of God'.

'There’s only one way in which we’ll find God's mercy,' he explains, 'and that is if we set out on this pilgrimage as beggars, as people who know what we need. We need to be accepted as we are and enabled to grow to be much better than we are.

'And that’s the story of God’s mercy at work in our lives for us to discover during this precious Year of Mercy.'


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