Ash Wednesday 2016: “Longing For Mercy”

mercy man 3

Ash Wednesday: “Longing for Mercy” Finger Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC 2016

Click here for a short article on Pope Francis’ Lenten message for this Year of Mercy

I painted this piece with my fingers last week. The painting expresses my own desire for the love and compassion of Jesus as well as the desire that I experience from so many people with whom I minister. So many people wait to be loved just as they are, to be anointed with mercy and given another chance to live fully in human skin. Lent invites us to explore love in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Here is a litany of prayer based on the Sunday Lenten scriptures: 

Litany for Lent 2016 Cycle C

The Year of Mercy

Text: Ronald Raab, CSC

Response: Have mercy on me, Jesus, have mercy

(Ash Wednesday)

When you invite me to pray with all my heart

When you show me how to fast from harmful ways

When you model for me how to give to others

When you call me to repentance and belief in you

When you challenge me to reform my life

(First Sunday of Lent)

When sin leads me into the lonely desert

When doubt shows me my nakedness

When addiction wraps me in lust and misfortune

When power takes over my soul and future

When greed fills my days and my nights

(Second Sunday of Lent)

When I live in darkness and mistrust

When I cannot lift my head to see your face

When I want to remain only in the past

When I cannot envision your glory and love

When I am overcome with sleep and depression

(Third Sunday of Lent C)

When I feed on only violence and hardship

When I bear hopelessness and destruction

When I destroy new life because of my cynicism and apathy

When I bear only weeds and division in my life

When l transplant my life into negativity and sadness

(Third Sunday Cycle A) OPTION

When you tell me all that I have ever done

When you look me in the eyes and receive me as I am

When you understand the truth of me

When you show me how to live differently

When you reveal love and satisfaction to me

(Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

When I squander my life and my soul

When I run far from you in the day and in the night

When I mistrust my life and my family

When I can no longer be trust with your grace and care for me

When I hesitate to come home to your mercy and forgiveness

(Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle A) OPTION

When I am blind to your real presence and your mercy

When I am blind to those who love and care for me

When I am blind to the love you offer my heart

When I am blind to the path you have for my future

When I am blind to the miracles of new life and forgiveness

(Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle C)

When I do not feel worthy of your love

When I am confused about my past and my future

When I doubt that you care for me and protect me

When I cannot forgive myself and other people

When I am first to condemn myself and even my friends

(Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle A) OPTION

When I am cast down from sin and shame

When I see only death and resistance for my future

When I am dead and putrid in my guilt and ignorance

When I do not trust your presence for me

When I cannot imagine the new life that awaits me

(Palm Sunday of Lent Cycle C)

When I am accused of wrongdoing and injustice

When I cannot die to self and live in your love

When I am confused about my journey to you

When I would rather live in comfort and put my trust in you

When I truly desire your love and mercy

(For any Sunday or any use during the Year of Mercy)

When I cannot trust that you care for me

When I feel unworthy of your love for me

When I cannot forgive my past or trust my decisions

When I cannot look up from my path of self-righteousness

When I have lost my way and cannot find you


When I cannot find my place within the Church

When I hide the truth of my life and misuse my gifts

When I cannot trust others who believe in you

When I hold back my voice and talents

When I hesitate to live in the love you have for me


When I fear your judgment of my life and sin

When I give up on your mercy and question your presence

When I am too tired to care for my own life

When I am dejected by others and intimidated by you

When I give up on my talents and future


When I hold you responsible for war and violence

When I blame you for my ill health and financial misfortune

When I do not trust your care for my family

When I am not certain you exist in my uncomfortable life

When I do not know if you really exist in our violent world


When I cannot find you in my sickness and lack of breath

When I ache for your tender care in my fever and tiredness

When I am tired by the journey and exhausted from starting over

When I search in the decay of my attitude and the crumbling of my faith

When I wait alone in the nighttime of my death


When I yearn for the Shepherd of my soul

When I seek the Light living in my own darkness

When I am hungry for the Bread of Life

When I finally understand my connection to the Vine of Life

When I wait for the revival of my life in the Holy Spirit


When the dust settles from my search for you

When I tire of running after everything but you

When I am exhausted from my fear that I hold in my body

When the path opens up for my life in you

When we finally see each other face to face


When I feel I have to pull myself up with my own bootstraps

When I think I have to save my own life

When I am certain I am not good enough

When I blame myself for how my life has turned out

When I hold on to fear and grasp only sorrow







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