As winter sets in the “gentle rain” can remindus of the Mercy of God:
The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.
Particularly at Easter we are drenched with the mercy of God and today, more particularly, on Mercy Sunday, we delight in the mercy of God which cannot be hidden or restricted . Shakespeare noticed that when we echo the mercy of God there is a double blessing:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
His conclusion is that any authentic prayer for mercy for ourselves must mean that we in turn are merciful to others:
We do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
We will know that Jesus has eastered in us, that we have welcomed mercy if we findthat are being merciful to others.
The modern devotion to Divine Mercy is another way of expressing the ancient tradition of the Church of seeing the loving kindness of the heart of our God in the pierced Heart of Jesus.
Catholics learn very early on in their faith journey to relate to God through many symbols which hint at great mysteries. The mystery of mercy is a way of speaking about the whole paschal mystery, it is a “shorthand” for Easter, it is a warm and attractive insight into true devotion to the Sacred heart of Jesus.
May we all continue to bask in the mercy of God and draw other into that unstrained quality of divine love.
Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.