Choose a topic from Part 2B:

30. Mercy

1. St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei, ix) says:"Mercy is heartfelt sympathy for another's distress,impelling us to help him if we can." Hence, the distress ofanother, that is, the evil suffered by another, is the motive ofmercy.

2. Pity is a kind of sorrow for some defect. We feel pityfor others in so far as we look upon their defect or deficiency asthough it were our own. And pity stirs us to deeds of mercy. Theterms mercy and pity are frequently used interchangeably.

3. Mercy is a name sometimes applied to a feelingor sentiment; so also is pity. But when mercy or pity ismore than a sentiment; when it is the habitual and regulatedmovement of the soul, acting in the light of reason, it is avirtue.

4. Indeed, mercy is in itself the greatest ofvirtues, and it is said of God that "his mercies are above allhis works." But among creatures mercy is not so greata virtue as charity, and, without charity, would be whollyineffective. However, mercy ranks next to charity itself, and, ofthe purely social virtues, mercy is the greatest.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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