With this Autumn edition of our newsletter we enter the final part of the Year of Mercy. At the end of 2015 Pope Francis invited the church community to enter through the door of mercy. Christians in the whole world have done this and it has led to many graces and blessings.

Early in the year we were made aware that the front door of Minsteracres is also a door that opens a space of mercy: healing is found, forgiveness received. In a powerful way the merciful love of God is at work in the lives of those who come.

This can happen through the sacrament of reconciliation. It also happens through conversations where a listening ear is offered and burdens are shared. The presence of people is important and so is the presence of God. And this twofold presence is tangible – at least, that is what many visitors say. Minsteracres is sometimes described as a ‘thin’ place, a space where the veil between the seen and the unseen world is very thin.

At the end of this year of mercy there may be a temptation to leave this space and move on to something else. I don’t think this is possible for Christians. Dwelling in the space of mercy is a lifelong occupation. But it is not a burden because dwelling in the space of mercy is dwelling in the space where God dwells…