Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Pope of Conversion

We are in a jubilee of mercy.

How do you interpret the language of mercy?

Perhaps you don't understand the language properly because you haven't allowed yourself to be fully embraced by mercy? You haven't allowed it to reach to all those nooks and crannies, which may in fact be the main areas of God's attention? You reject mercy immersion?

What do you know of mercy when you haven't allowed yourself to receive it? To receive it in the same exhaustive manner in which Jesus died?

What we know of mercy is proportional to our receiving it.

It is impossible for us to see the extent and reality of our sins without mercy. It is impossible for us to grow in holiness without mercy.

For it is precisely mercy that allows us to see that reality without illusions. Those illusions can be wishy-washy and evasive or they can be severe in a homespun kind of way; our own strength making a facsimile harsh assessment - self-enclosed: no worries over here Lord, I got this all covered, see how severe a judge I am with myself? I'm good on my own. The pangs of conscience are killed by our own strength, but enlivened by grace. Not by our own initiative or strength. It is the grace of mercy by which we have knowledge of sin.

It is only in mercy that one can fully fathom the reality of one's sins while having total hope and trust in God, which becomes more real a reality than anything one has known before. Mercy is conversion; to believe conversion is a one-time target is to deny sin and to limit God's graces and riches.

People are so stupid to regard mercy and particularly this jubilee of mercy as just some devotional thing, or some squishy "pastoral" thing.

How stupid to regard mercy as merely and exclusively the abstention of justice, such that every time you hear about mercy you immediately think of some negative carbon copy of justice, wherein we sort of just "get a pass", a wink and a nod. Both the right and the left got it wrong.

That is not what mercy is.

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