Mercy is mentioned in the Bible in relation to forgiveness and the withholding of punishment. However, the Bible goes beyond forgiveness and punishment to describe kindness. Healing, consolation, the easing of suffering, and caring for those in distress are examples of God's mercy for those who are suffering.
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What is the difference between God's grace and mercy?
They are, in a nutshell, two sides of the same coin. Mercy is not receiving the penalty we deserve, whereas grace is receiving a gift we don't deserve.
Grace is described as gracious goodwill in the dictionary. It's not demanded or merited, yet it's freely given. Mercy, on the other hand, is the act of showing compassion and goodwill to someone whom one has the ability to punish or hurt. It is a gesture intended to alleviate someone's misery.
Consider the following scenario: someone tries to loot your home. You discovered that the robber was simply in a desperate circumstance and had no intention of harming anyone. Instead of calling the cops, you chose kindness by pardoning the thief and letting the situation go. Then you provided him food and money to help him get through this difficult period that's grace.
Grace and mercy are essential in a world where faults are rapidly punished and goodwill is reserved for the deserving.
What is the difference between mercy and forgiveness?
Many moral and religious traditions see forgiveness and mercy as virtues, however different traditions will emphasize different aspects. For example, the Christian tradition emphasizes purity of heart as the core of forgiveness, whereas the Jewish tradition emphasizes the social dimension of reintegration into the covenanted community. Mercy is the withholding of harsh treatment that one has the right to administer, while forgiveness is the overcoming of anger and resentment. Both allow for recovery, but some opponents argue that this healing comes at an exorbitant cost. When forgiveness is taken to its logical conclusion, it can devolve into servility, resulting in a loss of self-respect. Kindness has comparable paradoxes, especially in the context of punishment; putting too much emphasis on mercy might lead to a deviation from justice. Clearly, despite the fact that forgiveness and mercy are clear virtues, putting them into practice in the complex situations that make up ordinary life is challenging.
How does God show mercy to us?
God the Father, for example, demonstrated mercy on us by sacrificing his son, Christ Jesus, on the Cross to atone for our sins. Healing, consolation, the easing of suffering, and caring for those in distress are examples of God's mercy for those who are suffering. He responds compassionately and mercifully.
What Bible say about mercy?
In Matthew's narrative, Jesus also instructs his disciples on the meaning of the phrase:
“Mercy, not sacrifice, is what I seek. For I have come to call sinners, not the virtuous.”
Perhaps most importantly for Christians, Jesus exemplifies mercy by healing the sick, welcoming strangers, and forgiving those who persecuted and killed him.
Jesus' mercy is not abstract, as Pope Francis explains in Misericordiae Vultus, his letter launching the Holy Year of Mercy “Visceral” refers to anything that transforms us from the inside out.
Christians believe that this visceral part of compassion is found in the personal relationship that Jesus promises to each of us: a relationship founded on forgiveness, love, reconciliation, and truth. In the first sentence of Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis writes,
How do you develop mercy?
This week, I'd want to encourage you to perform a deliberate act of mercy in each of these categories. Wait. Isn't there a conflict between mercy and accountability? There is, indeed. But I've determined that if I'm going to make a mistake, I'm going to make it by being excessively nice, merciful, and forgiving.
Be understanding of other people's eccentricities. Who in your life has a personality flaw that irritates you? This week, how can you practice tolerance with that person?
Assist anyone who is in need in your immediate vicinity. That do you know who is clearly in need this week who you can assist? You're not paying attention if you can't think of anyone. Take a closer look!
Allow folks to have a second opportunity. To whom do you need to extend another chance? How can you show mercy and compassion to that person this week?
Do good to those who have caused you harm. Perhaps you're dealing with an old wound that you haven't been able to heal. You must forgive and then turn things around for the better. Who in your life is that person? Will you give me a call or pay me a visit this week?
Be gracious to those who have offended you. Who irritates you? Perhaps you can pray for a politician or a comedian. Perhaps it's a Facebook friend who holds opposing viewpoints and says terrible things. How can you make a conscious effort to be kind to that person this week?
Build love bridges to the unpopular. When you think of an outcast, who is the first person who springs to mind? Who eats alone during their lunch break or doesn't appear to have any friends during soccer games? What concrete action will you take this week to use love to bridge the gap between you and that person?
Relationships are more important than regulations. In the coming weeks, who could you ask over for dinner as an unbeliever? Will you then take the initiative and invite them to church? This is your mercy ministry.
What is the main message of the Divine Mercy?
The Divine Mercy devotion, like the prayers that make up the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, has three basic themes: asking for and receiving God's mercy, trusting in Christ's abundant mercy, and ultimately showing mercy to others and acting as a channel for God's mercy toward them.
The first and second elements refer to the signature “Jesus, I trust in You” on the Divine Mercy image, and according to Kowalska, Jesus assured her on April 28, 1935, the first Divine Mercy Sunday, “Every soul believing and trusting in My Mercy shall obtain it.”
The line “Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners,” attributed to Jesus in Kowalska's journal (Notebook I, items 186187), reflects the third component. In the diary, this sentence is followed by a short prayer: “O Blood and Water, which burst forth from the Heart of Jesus as a wellspring of Mercy for us, I trust in You,” which Kowalska also advised for the Hour of Divine Mercy. “I expect from you works of mercy, which are to emerge out of love for Me,” Jesus told Kowalska in her diary (Notebook II, item 742), and he clarified that there are three ways to exercise mercy toward your neighbor: the first is by deed, the second is by speech, and the third is by prayer.
The Divine Mercy devotion highlights the notion that mercy was a major ingredient in God's plan for salvation, and that it was through mercy that God sent his only son for the redemption of mankind following Adam's fall. “Heavenly Father and God of Mercy, We no longer wait for Jesus among the dead, for He is alive and has become the Lord of Life,” starts the opening prayer for Divine Mercy Sunday Mass.
Because of a multitude of causes, the Vatican prohibited the picture and devotion to it in 1959. Some Polish bishops questioned Kowalska's statements, citing the image's resemblance to the red-and-white Polish flag as a source of concern. According to reports, Polish priests saw the rays as a flag emblem. Due to lobbying from future Polish Pope Karol Wojtya, who had a strong interest in Kowalska, the restriction on devotion was overturned on April 15, 1978. Divine Mercy: No Escape, a film on Kowalska's life, was co-written, produced, and directed by American filmmaker Hermann D. Tauchert in 1987.