Pity or Mercy

Jesus, the Blessed Child of God, is merciful. Showing mercy is different from having pity. Pity connotes distance, even looking down upon…Mercy comes from a compassionate heart; it comes from a desire to be an equal. Henri Nouwen

[Nouwen, Henri J.M.; Bread for the Journey; San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1985, May 28th excerpt.]

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have Mercy. Lord, have mercy. [Kyrie Eleison]

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

If Henri Nouwen is right, then asking for mercy is a request for more than forgiveness of transgressions: it is seeking the company of someone who restores our dignity and fragile sense of self worth instead of stripping it away from us. This is a revolutionary request that can transform our inner lives as we seek to make amends for our shortcomings in our outer ones. We expand instead of contract – and perhaps we will dare to show mercy to others so that they may expand as well.

[This is one writing in an ongoing series. For more information, click Daily Meds above…]

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