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Compassion and Mercy

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Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, o.c.d.

There is no limit to God's mercy. He never rejects us because of our sins, he never grows weary of our infidelities, he never refuses to forgive us, he is always ready to forget our offenses and to repay our ingratitude with graces. He never reproaches us for our offenses, even when we fall again immediately after being forgiven. He is never angered by our repeated failures or weakness in the practice of virtue, but always stretches out his hand to us, wanting to help us. Even when men condemn us, God shows mercy to us; he absolves us and sends us away justified....

How far does our mercy go? How much compassion do we have for the faults of others? The measure of our mercy toward our neighbor will be the measure of God's mercy toward us....

God does not require us to be sinless that he may shower upon us the fullness of his mercy, but he does require us to be merciful to our neighbor, and moreover, to be humble. In fact, to be sinners is not enough to attract divine mercy; we must also humbly acknowledge our sins and turn to God with complete confidence. "What pleases God," said Saint Therese of Lisieux, "is to see me love my littleness and poverty; it is the blind hope I have in his mercy. This is my sole treasure." This is the treasure which supplies for all our miseries, weaknesses, relapses, and infidelities, because by means of this humility and confidence we shall obtain the divine mercy. And with this at our disposal, how can our wretchedness discourage us?

As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.

 



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