In defense of mercy: it’s about justice

sacred heart

Seen in “The Barn” – the priests retreat house in Hanceville, AL

  • “For the sake of His sorrowful passion…” [“for the sake” – that’s called justice]
  • “… have mercy on us and on the whole world.” [There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.]

The reason people are skeptical of mercy, cynical, with bitterness, is that they cut mercy off from justice and run after mercy alone. That doesn’t work. There is no mercy without justice. Mercy is founded on justice. Aquinas puts mercy in its place in his commentary on the Sentences, saying that mercy is a mere potential part of the virtue of justice, yet also speaking of mercy as the greatest revelation of the glory of God. It is Christ Jesus standing in our place, taking on what we deserve for sin, original sin and our own, death, the worst we can give out, which makes the mercy real, majestic, the weight of the glory of which brings us to our knees, has us go prostrate before this most Sacred Mystery, and has us walk in humble thanksgiving with the Son of the Living God in our daily lives, at every moment of our lives, one with Him as members of the body are one with the body.

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Filed under Confession, Mercy

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