Practicing Mercy


A recent preview for Sunday Night Live got me thinking about this.

When most of us think about Divine Mercy and the devotion, we think of the Mercy of God. That is good, but I think many people(at least me) unconsiously overlook the part we play in Divine Mercy. We often look at an image and think about the Mercy God has for us, but we rarely think about how we are called to be imitators of Christ and practice Mercy in our own lives. How often do we think about whether we are practicing Mercy? I know I hardly think of it at all.

This Practice of Mercy is, I think, closely related to the part of the Our Father where we say, “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” How can we expect to be shown mercy if we do not show it to others?

Think of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 18:23-35:

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[a] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.** He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Thoughts? Am I on track?:)**


I think you’re on track. :slight_smile:

We are definitely called to show mercy to others. I love the message of Divine Mercy and have a special devotion to it, but you’re right, most of us (me included) don’t show others mercy as much as we should. I think the more we pray the chaplet, the more God will work in us and help us to be more Christ-like.

As for practical applications, I hope this will be helpful (it’s from the Divine Mercy website):

Works of Mercy

Be Merciful as Your Father is Merciful

We are not only to receive the mercy of God, but to use it by being merciful to others through our actions, our words, and our prayers; in other words, we are to practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works (Acts) of Mercy.

The Lord wants us to do these works of mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no use without works.

What are the Works of Mercy?

Corporal Works
-Feed the hungry
-Give drink to the thirsty
-Clothe the naked
-Shelter the homeless
-Comfort the prisoners
-Visit the sick
-Bury the dead

Spiritual Works
-Teach the ignorant
-Pray for the living & dead
-Correct sinners
-Counsel those in doubt
-Console the sorrowful
-Bear wrongs patiently
-Forgive wrongs willingly

Jesus’ Call to Mercy

"I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.

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. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.

Many souls … are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul.

If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy" (1317).


It sure is tough sometimes to show mercy as we’re called to. Thankfully, God knows what we’re capable of and knows our hearts. I believe He knows when we’re honestly trying our best to be more like Him (even when we fail).


For real world discussion of practicing mercy, I think it would be worthwhile to take a look at some of the recent messages in the Christian Resignation / Surrender social group:

The Bible is an excellent reminder.
So are the listings of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
and passages from St. Faustina’s Diary.
Theorizing is nice.
Meanwhile, people are hurting.
And some of them are our neighbors right here on CAF.
A Hail Mary for these individuals wouldn’t hurt and would in fact
be a great act of charity.

~~ the phoenix


I agree. In our current financial situation I can’t practice some of the works of mercy, and having young children prevents me from others, but praying is something we can all do! :smiley: When I get discouraged and feel like I’m not doing things to help others, I pray and try to remind myself that later in life there will be time for some other acts of mercy, but that right now my family is my first responsibility.


There’s a wonderful article in this month’s Magnificat titled “Ordinary Time: Gerard Manley Hopkins, In Honor of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez” in which the author, Anthony Esolen, discusses the Gospel life we each are called to in our daily, mundane lives in connection with Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem In Honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez.

Read more about about St. Alphonsus Rodriguez here.

Mr. Esolen writes, “It’s true that we are each of us called to be saints. But if we suppose that we are all called to be loud and bustling saints, regular Sons (and Daughters!) of Thunder, we do not understand the wonder of the ordinary, and we are probably mistaking vanity for holiness, too…Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, a Jesuit, lived at the College of Palma in Majorca for forty years. His job at that house was simple. He opened the door to the main hall. That’s what he did, faithfully and obediently…It isn’t much to build a saint upon, is it?”

Point being: Yes, we are all called to perform acts of mercy for one another, but we need not think that we must feed the 5000 in order to do so. Many of you have expressed great mercy towards in me in these recent weeks and months, for which I’m much appreciated. I think it is the simplest, most ordinary mercies, mostly unnoticed by we who perform them, that make the most difference.

Read the poem, In Honor of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez here.


I have been reading Saint Faustina’s autobiography. This morning I read a passage where she says we are called on to live such mercy in three ways, by what we say, by what we do, and by our prayers. With God, she says too, love is His existence, mercy His action. This is how we should live too, or at least try to grow.


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