Spiritual mercy is a very exalted form of charity towards our neighbor… True mercy, in the image of Christ’s mercy, is not a proudly condescending and pharisaic pity for poor sinners – an attitude in itself perhaps sinful. To be truly merciful is to understand and to love sinners, because we know the extent and the depth of the evil within ourselves; because, like Saint Paul, we have experienced the warrings of the flesh and the spirit, and have discovered in ourselves the marks of original sin – our inclination towards evil and the weakness of our will.
… To be merciful is to feel, to the point of anguish, the sins of the world, and to seek some understanding of all that is implied in the sins accumulated by generations of men against Divine Law, against social justice, against charity; of all the evils occasioned by the sins of every day, of every night, of every hour…To know the richness of mercy is to share in the dispositions of the Heart of our Redeemer by experiencing in ourselves something of the shuddering horror at the vision of the sins of the world which filled his heart.
Bishop Guerry (+1969) was the archbishop of Cambrai, France and a spiritual author.
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