Thought for the Day –32 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of the Merciful
“Let us meditate now on the mercy of God, which is infinite even as His justice is infinite.
“His mercy” says St Thomas Aquinas, “does not subtract from His justice but is, the fullness and the perfection of that justice.”(Summa Theologiae, I, q.21, a.2 ad2).
All the merits which we can acquire in the sight of God, derive from His gratuitous gift of grace.
God’s mercy and justice, therefore, are fused together in a wonderful harmony, which claims our gratitude and fidelity.
References to the mercy of God are numerous in Sacred Scripture.
“You Lord, are good and forgiving,” says the Psalmist, “abounding in kindness to all who call upon you” (Ps 85:5).
“Blessed be the Lord,” we read elsewhere, “my rock, … my refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer ….” (ps 143:2).
“Goodness and kindness follow me, all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come” (Ps 22:6)
When we leave the Old Testament and open the Gospel, we discover that it is a record of the goodness and mercy of God.
We have only to recall Christ’s forgiveness of the Magdalen when she wept at His feet for her faults; the merciful judgement which He passed on the poor adulteress; His loving glance in the direction of St Peter who had denied Him; the grace so miraculously granted to St Paul on the road to Damascus and, the parables of the good Samaritan, the prodigal son and the good shepherd who went in search of the lost sheep.
Finally, there are the consoling words to the repentant thief: “This day thous shalt be with me in paradise.”
When we read this chronicle of infinite goodness and mercy, we should experience a boundless hope and confidence.
It does not matter how great our sins, or our ingratitude, may have been.
Once we have repented, God is ready to forgive us and to receive us with open arms!”