In the letter (Prot. N. NE/532/2017/P) confirming some Missionaries of Mercy for continued service we read:
“As in the Jubilee Year, in this new phase of your service […] you will be called upon to embody, in an exemplary fashion, those characteristics which the Holy Father suggests should be proper to every confessor. Thus you should strive to be…
- welcoming to all
- a witness of fatherly tenderness whatever the gravity of the sin involved
- attentive to helping penitents to reflect on the wrong they have done
- clear in presenting moral principles
- willing to walk patiently alongside the faithful on their penitential journey
- far-sighted in discerning individual cases
- generous in dispensing God’s forgiveness
This is, of course, simply a long description of the word πραΰς usually translated “meek,” but from which comes our word for “friendly”, not a fair weather friend, but someone who provides you with what you need in both charity and truth:
- “Say to daughter Zion, ‘Behold, your King comes to you, friendly and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden'” (Matthew 21:5).
- “Blessed are the friendly, for they will inherit the land” (Matthew 5:5).
- “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am friendly and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves” (Matthew 11:29).
Also see: (1) Missionaries of Mercy reconfirmed.