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.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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