A Week of Catholicity V: Mercy
"Catholic": of or including all Christians • of or relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church.
Grace is the Sine Quo Non of Christian Belief
The Father of orphans, the defender of widows is God in His holy habitation... God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom... blessed be the Lord, the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens. Psalm 68
Our God is the one who freely gives life to all, and makes His rain fall on the just and on the unjust.
Our God is the One who gives His own body and blood to nourish and clothe the enemy.
I get so tired of hearing of grace in terms of "free gift," in the vein of the gifts that we give to those whom we cherish, whom we know will cherish us all the more in the future in exchange for the good gift given. Our God does no such thing; grace is the Cross. It is from that Cross that we know precisely for whom Christ died and whom He forgives- it is for the pagan, nail-driving crucifiers that Jesus demands, "Father, Forgive Them."
The practices of mercy thus bear in the lives of Christians. We follow the One who welcomes the enemy into His very heart. We follow the one whose life is poured out in intercession. Thus we heal... we share... we intercede. We do not ask to love our enemies; we act as though we did.