Courage of True Mercy
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
Our Blessed Savior said to St. Faustina:
"I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first by deed, the second by word, the third by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it." (Diary, 742)
False mercy is common today. It tickles the ear; it trivializes sin. But without repentance, mercy’s false. Jesus teaches,
“The truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:32).
Because society today relativizes truth and attacks Christian morality, people enmeshed in sinful lifestyles embrace a false mercy that soothes their conscience. False mercy is soft, numbing the mind to truth. But the Gospel calls us to radical conversion in Christ.
Showing false mercy, we cajole people to embrace sin’s false allurements—not the true mercy of God their souls desperately need. To love our neighbor, we must show true mercy, proclaiming the Gospel truth.
Putting love of God and neighbor into action demands we show true mercy through deeds, words, and by prayer. Jesus tells us we mustn’t shrink from this or try to excuse ourselves from this duty towards others. To follow Christ and love our neighbor, we need the courage of true mercy.
Prayer for mercy
Lord, let me love my neighbors by bringing them truth wrapped in mercy—in deeds, words, and by prayer. Jesus, have mercy on us and on the whole world.