The spiritual gift of mercy calls all of us to grow in empathy and compassion towards others. It is a reminder of Christ’s love and an invitation to emulate His mercy in our lives and communities.

The Power of Mercy

The charism of mercy is a supernatural ability that some individuals possess to demonstrate deep empathy and compassion. These people have a keen sense of the needs in different communities and feel a strong urge to respond. They are the Church’s activism arm, working tirelessly to alleviate suffering and bring healing to those in need.

Learning from Examples

For us who don’t possess the mercy charism, we look to those who do as examples of empathy and compassion. Therefore, by listening to their experiences and practical steps they take, we can learn and grow in this important virtue. Examples are powerful forces in our lives of growth.

Recognizing the Value

People with the mercy charism may sometimes struggle with impatience and frustration towards those who lack empathy and compassion. Not everyone receives the spiritual gift of mercy. Instead of resenting others, they should offer patience, gratitude, and education about the importance of empathy. We embody compassion and love. Their presence reminds us to.

Guarding Against Burnout

The weight of the problems in the world can likewise become overwhelming for individuals with the mercy charism. This charism can be draining. But it is crucial for them to lean into their activism from a place of peace. Therefore, they must remember that they are not solely responsible for solving every problem. The Holy Spirit works through many individuals to bring about change. Rest, prayer, and maintaining a correct relationship with God are essential for sustaining their service without feeling burdened.

Mother Teresa as a Guide

Mother Teresa and Missionaries of Charity provide an excellent example of embracing the spiritual gift of mercy while maintaining balance. Their daily schedule includes ample time for rest and prayer, emphasizing the importance of focusing on their relationship with God. This approach, hence, enables them to serve with greater freedom, love, and joy, ultimately yielding more fruitful results.

The charism of mercy reminds us of the empathy and compassion of Christ. Whether we possess this charism or not, we are all called to grow in mercy and compassion towards others. Let us learn from those with the mercy charism. We recognize the value they bring to the Church. We guard against burnout and strive to serve from a place of peace. May we all embrace the charism of mercy and be conduits of Christ’s love in our world today.

Learn more at Many Parts Ministries.

Jill Simons [00:00:00]:

Hello and welcome to Charisms for Catholics. My name is Jill Simons and I’m the executive director at Many Parts Ministries where we equip the Body of Christ by helping people learn about and discern their charisms, which is really another word for spiritual gifts. When you discern your charisms, you’re able to see how the Holy Spirit is already active in your life and where he is inviting you to further build the church. Let’s dive in. We are diving into mercy today, which is a charism that is just so beautiful in the Church and I think that it always encourages me how not rare it is when I go into groups of people and help them discern their charisms. I see so many people with all of the charisms but especially with mercy and I’m always encouraged by that because mercy is really about a special grace, empowering individuals to share in Christ’s empathy and compassion for others. And a lot of times that’s going to urge them then into practical actions to love and serve them. So this is, really I don’t love pairing philosophical realities with charisms, but more or less the mercy charism is going to be your activism arm of the Church.

Jill Simons [00:01:29]:

So this is going to be the people who really see the need for all different kinds of things in all different kinds of communities and feel this strong urge to respond to that need. So there’s going to be this supernatural level of empathy that people experience and this is incredibly beautiful and a huge asset to the Church because our people with mercy remind all of us of the empathy of Christ and the compassion that he has that we’re all being invited to grow in. And so mercy is one of those where some people are given this charism, which is again supernatural ability to do this organically, as opposed to many of us don’t have this charism. And we are being invited to grow in mercy as part of our own personal spiritual development, growing in empathy with Christ through our steadfast perseverance in faith versus being given a full measure of this gift through a special grace. So mercy is not something that’s exclusive to people with the charism. It is something that the people with the charism demonstrate for the rest of us so that we can understand what we’re going for, what it is that we are looking to emulate not just from the person of Christ, but also from these examples of mercy in our life and community. Now, people with mercy a lot of times will struggle, have kind of maybe a little bit of a unique struggle amongst the charisms, of really feeling frustrated and impatient with people that do not have this charism because of their lack of organic empathy and compassion. And so I always encourage people with mercy to just recognize that that’s going on in your life, that you have this supernatural charism and so many people are not playing with that hand.

Jill Simons [00:03:28]:

So many other people, this is a huge area that they have to work on and really build virtue in to progress. And so to just let that be something that brings you into gratitude for what you have been given but also patience with others who maybe haven’t been given that and then to recognize the value of the education that you provide to other people about what this looks like. I always really highly value the example of other people with mercy about how to show empathy. I have a specific friend who this is absolutely one of his charisms and he has shared with me very tangible specific. Like this is something that I do when I encounter a homeless person or this is something that I do when I hear about someone being ill. This is a practical step that you can take to grow in empathy and compassion. And I’m always really thankful for those things because that doesn’t come naturally to me. That is not an organic expression of my life of faith and that is very valuable to me to have someone explain to me what I should do and what is helpful for me to do on that front.

Jill Simons [00:04:40]:

And so that’s where I really just want to encourage everyone with mercy to praise God for the beauty of the gift that you’ve been given and to really recognize that it’s special that other people don’t have that. And you are a beautiful conduit of the rest of us learning about the empathy and compassion of Christ. I also really encourage people with a mercy charism to really lean into the activism that they feel called to do from a place of peace. It is so easy to get burnt out being so fully invested in all of the problems and all the things that are wrong. And many of us have likely experienced this, whether this is our charism or not, of just kind of the weight of all of the problems in the world and our mercy people feel that weight acutely. And so I want to just especially remind people with the mercy charism to return to that identity piece of the puzzle. If you’ve taken the assessment, there’s that IQ the identity quotient on your results, it’s all the way at the end, it has a number either above 30 or below 30 and the people with identity quotients below 30, that’s really just highlighting that the Lord has more for you there. He wants to share with you a greater understanding of who you are in relationship with him.

Jill Simons [00:06:05]:

And people over 30, typically that’s something that you are well aware of. And not to say that there’s never any growth to be done, but that’s usually a part of your life that you are already walking in pretty effectively. But mercy, like some of the others, can be an especially draining forum for your charisms. And so having that sense that the weight of the problem is not on you, that you are not the sole solving principle of the problem of homelessness in your city, or the problem of child trafficking in the world, or pick your cause, pick your scope, that that is not on your shoulders as an individual. But this is something that the Holy Spirit is giving you what you need for. And recognizing that the Holy Spirit continuing to be able to work through you is dependent on you really being in correct relationship with Him in terms of understanding how you fit. Again, these are your chores in the family of God. And so mercy people, more than other groups of charisms, will typically feel like everything rests on them executing their charism perfectly, totally fill in the blank.

Jill Simons [00:07:33]:

That needs to be clear that that is not true. Just like you won’t get kicked out of the family if you don’t do your chores or don’t do your chores perfectly, or aren’t doing your chores at all times, you are not going to be judged based on how intensely you partake in this charism. You are being invited into service and the more that you are able to experience the fruits of the Holy Spirit both before, during and after that service, the more you are living in keeping with that true identity. A great example of this is the daily schedule of Mother Teresa’s religious order serving the most needy in Calcutta. Mercy is probably the primary charism of the Missionaries of Charity and they are called to just radically serve the poor and dying there in Calcutta and now all over the world. But if you look at their daily schedule, there was a lot of time of rest, there was a lot of time of prayer. And that was incredibly intentional for them to keep their eyes on the context of what their relationship is with God and really where God’s power is in the situation, so that then they were able to serve and minister from freedom. So look that up if you’ve never seen it before.

Jill Simons [00:09:03]:

Mother Teresa’s Missionary of Charity’s daily schedule, the schedule she herself kept while she was there with her order. And just let that kind of sit with you and renew your mind about the intensity and the scope of using this charism. Because you are actually going to see better, greater results in using your charism from a place of peace and freedom, love and joy, than using your charism from a place of desperation and hustle and frustration and anxiety. Even if you spend more time doing it the second way, the most fruit is always going to come from the presence of the Holy Spirit. And the presence of the Holy Spirit doesn’t work in hustle and haste. The presence of the Holy Spirit works from peace. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode of Charisms for Catholics. If you would like learn more about your charisms or begin your own discernment journey

Jill Simons [00:10:03]:

head to our website at manypartsministries.com where you can download our free PDF guide to all 24 charisms and also begin your own journey by taking our charism assessment.