As we enter into ordinary time, we breathe in the crisp winter air, we exhale the whirlwind of the holiday season, and we attempt to keep those resolutions we made just a few short weeks ago as we marked the beginning of a new year.  However, we find ourselves living in a world that is anything but ordinary. In the news, we hear almost daily that we are living in a world wrought with terrorism, violence, greed, and abuses. But in light of this, we are also living in a world that needs mercy and forgiveness more than ever.

How can I live out my faith and forgive others who have wronged me? How can I seek forgiveness from those whom I have wronged? And, perhaps most importantly, how can I reach out to the Lord and pray that I can find it deep within to forgive myself, gratefully accepting the good news that our merciful Lord has already forgiven my transgressions?

Leigh M. Hartley works in higher education administration at the University of Chicago. Over the past 15 years she has volunteered with the Jesuits over 15 years, initially with Charis Ministries more recently years through planning and organizing pilgrimages with Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.