Morning Walk with Mercy

My morning walks this week have been dedicated to meditations on mercy. From yard and then on to the woods this morning, I share some words for your weekend.

To me [God] has granted His infinite Mercy, and through it I contemplate and adore  the other divine perfections! All of these perfections appear to be resplendent with love; even His Justice (and perhaps this even more so than the others) seems to me clothed in love. What a sweet joy it is to think that God is Just, i.e., that He takes into account our weakness, that He is perfectly aware of our fragile nature. What should I fear then?" (Story of a Soul)

All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person's sins were as dark as night, God's mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary: that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God's merciful grace, and then God will do the rest. (Diary of St. Faustina)

Mercy is love when it encounters suffering. More specifically, it's two movements that take place within us when we see someone (or something) suffer. The first is an emotional movement, a movement of compassion that we feel in our hearts or even, when the suffering is particularly intense, deep in our guts. The second is a movement of action. In other words, as we see someone suffering and feel compassion for him, we soon find ourselves reaching out to alleviate his suffering. In sum: mercy is love that feels compassion for those who suffer (heart) and reaches to help them (arm). (Consoling the Heart of Jesus)

A hard heart is the opposite of mercy. How much we must implore God so our hearts do not become hardened like stone! Our hearts must not become insensitive! In fact, insensitivity is the primary sin of man against God and neighbor. Hardness of heart separates us from God, is the loss of our humanity, and causes so much suffering. It is also that which brought Jesus to the Cross and caused his death--it is that which crucified him! Only the love of God that reaches as far as the Cross can open a breach in our hardened hearts. (Christoph Cardinal Schonborn)