A blessed Divine Mercy Sunday to one and all, a feast put in place by Pope Saint John Paul II, back in the Jubilee Year of 2000. Five years later, he would go to eternity on the eve of the feast, April 2nd, 2005. In these few moments of reflection from the theme of mercy, and to distinguish true compassion from the false sort, unhinged from truth – wreaking all sorts of havoc in our world.
We hear much of compassion and mercy, which in their Latin original are derived from miser (sad) and cordia (heart), or, to ‘suffer with’. In his one question in the Summa on mercy (cf., II-II, q. 30), Saint Thomas Aquinas states that mercy derives from our being moved with pity at the sight of another’s suffering, to feel com-passion for them, with a desire to alleviate whatever evil is afflicting them. This mercy is all the more intense the more we fell connected to the other, to the point even of feeling the sadness as our very own.
So far so good, but there are two things to be warned of in mercy, the first from Thomas, the other from my own ponderings.