Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mercy Me

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy on me, a sinner.
Every Pope is entitled to create his own priorities for his pontificate. Back when the Bear was still defending Pope Francis, his talk of mercy seemed like a good idea.

But, being Francis, his message about mercy only became more confusing the more he talked about it. Mercy seemed to eat up everything. Now it is like some universal solvent.

The problem the Bear fears is that those of us who are not enamored of Pope Francis will develop resistance to the truth about mercy. That he will have spoiled it for us.

God's mercy remains untouched, unconfused, real, and necessary. Avoid presumption, but never forget God's mercy, even if you're sick of hearing whatever it is that Francis believes about it. And the Bear could no more tell you that than what Francis believes about anything, except for global warming and immigration.

The Bear doesn't know anyone well enough (except himself) to even consider pointing fingers at who might be the Pharisee and who might be the Publican in this parable. He has moods when he is a pretty Pharisaical Bear. Most of the time he's a Publican, a sinner, hardly even trying to be righteous. Sometimes he sees himself as just another Bear, unfit for the company of men, and must resist the temptation to go away forever.

And sometimes still, he remembers that hopeful parable, and the great and ancient Orthodox prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. 12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled:and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

(Luke 18:10-14 Douay Rheims)


  1. Yes. To me Francis and his ilk seem like the Pharisee. They're always nagging other people about their shortcomings. Remember when Francis said in that first Scalfari interview "I have the desire and the humility to finally change things for the better"? Was that the Pharisee or the Publican?

    1. His actions from the very beginning constituted a refusal to submerge himself in the historic papacy. We are still waiting for the personality and personal beliefs of Jorge Bergoglio to be transmuted into Pope Francis. The problem of his pontificate in a one sentence.

  2. Remember when you were a kid and your father said: "just admit you did it and say you're sorry and you won't be punished?" That's mercy. Expecting Dad to say all is well without you owning up and saying you are sorry is presumption. Even little kids get this.

  3. My opinion: The spirit of obedience is the source of mercy.

  4. Quite sure Francis fancies himself as the publican.

    Seattle kim

  5. The receiving of the Father's mercy does not equate to salvation. Even the soul in hell has received and is receiving mercy from the Father. That Pope Francis has suggested that the soul damned is obliterated indicates a lack of understand of what the Father's mercy is.

    Some people, when they are put into positions of power, consider the very act of them being given power to be an indicator that the gods are blessing them and their ideas. They go about trying to transform their organizations according to their will for surly the gods must be smiling down upon their ever action. They are the incarnation of the gods' mercy. It does not cross their mind that they might be God's judgement upon the people. They do not seek to humble themselves before God and seek His will.

    The humble man recoils from the praise of the people, for he seeks to diminish and let Christ be glorified. The Pharisee puffs himself up and considers the happenstances of life to be indicators of how wonderful he is and how the gods smile upon him and not others. In reality, rain falls upon everyone.

  6. The Bear thinks mercy, by definition, is entirely unearned, and indeed flows to transgressors from one who might otherwise impose a just judgment. It's not something you earn, or have to qualify yourself for. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is not something you deserve, and it is not something you can assume you will receive, no matter who is telling you not to worry, because you will get mercy.

    The point was actually not so much about Francis himself, as the potential danger of "spoiling" legitimate truths of the Faith by misusing them. You see things like "FrancisMercy" and while the Bear thinks he knows what is meant, he hopes no one confuses it with real mercy. He also hopes no one is tempted to sneer at mercy just because Francis has abused the concept.

    1. Hope not, but then I have some friends who are good Protestants and they sneer at "God is love" because of how it is abused.

      God is merciful but He is not mercy. He is merciful to some because He is love. He is not merciful to others also because He is love.

      FrancisMercy isn't mercy but rather man's demand that God do what man wants. It is a chain and a shackle forged in the fires of cheep grace.

      Living in a fallen world is hard and we need all the grace and mercy that we can get. We should never tire of saying "Lord have mercy upon me, the worst of sinners". But receiving mercy, isn't cheep. Mercy is power; fierce and hot, radical and transformative. It constricts and demands that there be no more sin. The prisoner freed and who transgresses is returned to prison with a harsher sentence by the just judge.

  7. Mercy is cheap these days. People expect mercy now--from their bosses, the taxman (who may not be so merciful), parents, teachers, you name it.


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