In this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity collaborate with Mary Castner to offer the free song “Mercy Flows”. Pope Francis reminds us that ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy…let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.”
“I am now utterly convinced that on judgment day, the Lord Jesus is going to ask each of us one question and only one question, ‘Did you believe that I loved you?‘…The real believers there will answer, ‘Yes, Jesus, I believed in Your love, and I tried to shape my life in response to it.’. . . . Jesus Christ in this moment comes right to your seat and says, ‘I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be – because you’re never going to be as you should be.’ (excerpt from a sermon by Brennan Manning).
How easily we forget that His love comes FIRST! “We love because He first loved us!” For the better part of my life, so much of my time and energy had been wasted trying to earn God’s love and mercy. It took a series of painful events (the passing of my grandfather and a series of heartbreaks) for me to realize that I had been working myself to death to earn what I already had! It was out of this realization that I experienced a freedom unlike ever before. The very thing I was working so hard to earn (God’s mercy) was already freely given to me. It did not need to be earned, but recognized, received, and experienced. This experience so profoundly impacted my life that I desired to share it with others, and what better way to draw hearts into an experience of the freedom of God’s mercy than through song? As we enter this Year of Mercy, I pray that through this song, hearts might come to know the free gift of mercy that the Lord desires to pour into every life. That He loves you as you are, not as you should be – for it is He who first loved us!
(Photo: Fr. Brendan Wroblewski, Assumption BVM Province)
About Mary Castner
Born on Thanksgiving Day of 1988, Mary Castner has followed the calling to be a contemporary Christian music artist. Her Roman Catholic upbringing caused her to develop a deep love, not only for the Lord, but also for Christian music. She received great encouragement from her father, Fred Castner, who has worked extensively in the music industry as a guitar luthier at C.F. Martin Guitar Company. During his career he has repaired guitars for such acclaimed musicians as Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, John Mayer, and Sting…just to name a few. At age 14, after seeing Phil Keaggy in concert and hearing his witness, Mary felt inspired to take up guitar and piano.
Not long after, her passion for music overflowed into song writing and recording. With the encouragement of friends and mentors, Mary began sharing her music for the glory of God. While attending Franciscan University of Steubenville, the university selected her as the 2010-2011 head of Music Ministry. As the leader of over 100 liturgical musicians, Mary successfully organized one of the nation’s largest music ministry programs. From 2012 to 2016 Mary has helped coordinate both the Music and Youth Ministry Programs at Christ the King Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona. She is currently the Coordinator of Youth Evangelization for St. Theresa Catholic Church in Phoenix, AZ.
Music and full “By Faith” Album available for download on iTunes, Amazon.com, Google Play, and Spotify