Mercy, the Greatest Expression of Justice

I have been considering the importance of mercy these days, especially with the amount of violence that has increased in nations around the world. Mercy is not an excuse for justice; it is not saying, “Well, let’s just forgive everybody and be nice to those who commit atrocious deeds of evil.” Mercy seeks to transform evil. It opens the door to compassion, which overcomes evil.

This poem was written in the year 1937, by a Catholic nun, Sister Faustina.

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.

Help me, O Lord, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbor’s needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.

Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me, O Lord, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the suffering of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.

You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy — if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer — if I cannot show mercy by my deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.

O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things.

Quoted from the book Mercy, by Walter Kasper. pp. 144-145. I would highly recommend it.

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