Mercy. We love the idea of it, but it’s hard to practice consistently.
Bring home the idea of a “Year of Mercy” to your scouts with this new patch program from the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire. This just-released patch program helps Girl Scouts of all ages connect with ways to live out mercy in our lives during what Pope Francis has called “A Jubilee Year of Mercy.”
What is a Jubilee Year of Mercy?
I’ll admit it. Even after 40 years of Catholicism, I still get tripped up by some of the nuances of our faith. But the idea of a focus, or re-focus, on loving and serving others, even those we struggle to feel like they “deserve it,” is awesome.
I love this description by the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire:
The practice of a jubilee year has ancient roots in the Jewish tradition, as found in the Old Testament (for example, see Leviticus 25). The jubilee year was called every fifty years and was:
- a time for forgiveness
- a reminder of God’s providence and mercy
- a time for the entire community to come back into right relationship with one another and with God.
As the practice of the jubilee year was adopted into the Catholic Church, these themes of mercy, forgiveness, and solidarity continued.
So what do we do?
Here’s the great part. If you’re Catholic and living your faith, you are well on your way. If you’re not Catholic but living a Christian lifestyle, you’re likely hitting on many of these too!
In short, your scout will:
- Learn about the Year of Mercy.
- Learn about the Gospel of Mercy (the Prodigal so, the lost sheep, etc.).
- Learn about the Devotion to Divine Mercy.
- Learn about and live the Works of Mercy. They will learn about the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and create a service project around that.
What is the Devotion to Divine Mercy?
Mercy is a theme that is re-energized throughout Christian history, probably because we need it so much! We need this message of Divine Mercy, that whatever our shortcomings, if we turn to God, He will accept us in open arms. And, just as important, we are instruments of His mercy within our relationships and the world.
If you’re new to the Divine Mercy chaplet, which is mentioned in the requirements, it is a series of short prayers that Saint Faustina helped increase in popularity. Personally, I find it a very restful prayer in times of personal stress.
You can download full requirements for the Year of Mercy patch program.
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