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.

"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
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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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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