The Popes and Mercy
“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it.”
– Pope Francis
‘Misericordiae Vultus’ (‘The Face Of Mercy’)
“Mercy is in reality the core of the Gospel message; it is the name of God Himself, the face with which He reveals Himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ.”
– Pope Benedict
Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday
“The Church must profess and proclaim God’s mercy in all its truth, as it has been handed down to us by revelation”
– St John Paul II
‘Dives In Misericordiae’ (‘Rich In Mercy’)
The Popes have not ceased to remind the world and the Church of the need for mercy. Shakespeare noted that mercy is twice blessed – blessing the one who gives it as much as the one who receives it. But this idea is not new – is it not the parable of the prodigal son? Was the father not as happy as the son?
When the Holy Father’s speak, the Church – and, often, the world – listens.
In recent years, the Popes have said much on the subject of mercy – among other things, reminding us that the message is not new, that it is at the very heart of the Gospel; after all, is not the Passion and Death of Christ not the greatest mercy of all time? Often, we forget the messages which are of the greatest importance. So perhaps the calls of the Popes to mercy is not so unusual.
Most recently, Pope Francis has pointed out clearly the place of mercy in the Church. He has also reminded us clearly that mercy is not just an idea or a virtue – rather, it is a person; the Person of Christ, Who is indeed “the Face of the Father’s Mercy” (‘Misericordiae Vultus’)