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 Post subject: What is mercy?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:07 pm 
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What is the Catholic understanding of mercy?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:43 pm 
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Glossary in the Catechism wrote:
MERCY: The loving kindness, compassion, or forbearance shown to one who offends (e.g., the mercy of God to us sinners) (1422, 1829). See Works of Mercy.


1422 in the Catechism wrote:
ARTICLE 4
THE SACRAMENT OFPENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

1422
"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:05 am 
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Mercy is the opposite of Justice.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:14 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


Impossible, God is Mercy and He is Justice.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:21 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


I disagree-----mercy is a PART OF JUSTICE-----

to say its opposite means that someone is getting away with something "UNFAIRLY"---

when the fact is that one who judges APPLIES mercy as PART of justice...

when a court judge has 'MERCY'---its in the sentencing-----
whether one is set free(by the judge---not jury) or given life sentence instead of the chair----he is using MERCY....

JESUS---OUR JUDGE---GIVES HIS CHILDREN MERCY EVERYDAY----WE NEED IT.

but judgement is always there---JUSTICE.

who are we to question the "JUDGE"----HIS WORD STANDS---whether in mans court or HEAVENS court.

if I decide NOT to discipline my child for something---MERCY IS APPLIED, but justice---to ME THE JUDGE---has been served.

OPINIONS MIGHT NOT LIKE MY 'judgement'---BY I THE JUDGE HAVE MADE THE DECISION.

sentence of justice is -----MERCY.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:29 am 
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Lauda Jerusalem Dominum wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


Impossible, God is Mercy and He is Justice.


Nothing is impossible for God.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:35 am 
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mark malone wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


I disagree-----mercy is a PART OF JUSTICE-----

to say its opposite means that someone is getting away with something "UNFAIRLY"---

when the fact is that one who judges APPLIES mercy as PART of justice...

when a court judge has 'MERCY'---its in the sentencing-----
whether one is set free(by the judge---not jury) or given life sentence instead of the chair----he is using MERCY....

JESUS---OUR JUDGE---GIVES HIS CHILDREN MERCY EVERYDAY----WE NEED IT.

but judgement is always there---JUSTICE.

who are we to question the "JUDGE"----HIS WORD STANDS---whether in mans court or HEAVENS court.

if I decide NOT to discipline my child for something---MERCY IS APPLIED, but justice---to ME THE JUDGE---has been served.

OPINIONS MIGHT NOT LIKE MY 'judgement'---BY I THE JUDGE HAVE MADE THE DECISION.

sentence of justice is -----MERCY.




:stars: That makes no sense whatsoever.


If someone is caught speeding, by law, they have to pay a fine.
If the judge makes the person pay the fine, the judge is being just.
If the judge does not make the person pay the fine, the judge is being merciful.

Mercy is, by definition, not inflicting upon someone the penalties that justice requires.

God is Just, that is true. But in His mercy, He has given us a way to avoid that Justice. Let me put it this way. By being sinners, Justice requires that we go to hell. God made it that way because He is just. However, God also set up a way to avoid paying the price that we ought to pay. Through Jesus Christ, whom God sent in His Mercy, we avoid being judged....we avoid the just punishment we deserve.

I don't think it's necessarily a contradiction for God to be both Just and Merciful. Even if it were a contradiction, I'm not sure that it's impossible for God to simultaneously hold both of those traits.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:46 am 
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Quote:
He has given us a way to avoid that Justice. Let me put it this way


Maybe the best example is in the words that he has given us;

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

In other words, as I think you're both trying to say. Our trespasses against God, warrant Justice, however if we are merciful to those who harm and hurt us, So will God then be merciful to us.

We will still have the Ticket, and we may still owe a fine, but perhaps it will be reduced.

Justice without Mercy is not Justice, it is just Judgement.

In Peace
Dan

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That is rather the fate of the man who thinks he knows what he does not know. For he accepts what is false as if it were true, and that is the essence of error.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:01 pm 
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I've heard it said, "Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve, and mercy is not giving us what we do deserve."

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:29 pm 
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Kenny wrote:
I've heard it said, "Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve, and mercy is not giving us what we do deserve."


That's a pretty good way to put it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:43 pm 
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LiveByFaithNotSight wrote:
Kenny wrote:
I've heard it said, "Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve, and mercy is not giving us what we do deserve."


That's a pretty good way to put it.


That's a GREAT way of putting it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:48 pm 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


Impossible, God is Mercy and He is Justice.


Nothing is impossible for God.


Right, and a contradiction is a nothing, hence it is impossible for God. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:50 pm 
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St. Therese of Lisieux said "What a sweet joy to know that God is just, that he takes our imperfections and weaknesses into account".

I have long believed, that BECAUSE God is Just, He is Merciful. He does not look at our transgressions alone and then judge and punish us. He sees our sins through our brokenness and the injustices heaped upon us as a part of our life experience. This, in my opinion, is God's mercy.
~Joy


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:26 pm 
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Lauda Jerusalem Dominum wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Mercy is the opposite of Justice.


Impossible, God is Mercy and He is Justice.


Nothing is impossible for God.


Right, and a contradiction is a nothing, hence it is impossible for God. ;)



IF a contradiction exists, that is... :D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:33 pm 
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If someone is caught speeding, by law, they have to pay a fine.
If the judge makes the person pay the fine, the judge is being just.
If the judge does not make the person pay the fine, the judge is being merciful.

Mercy is, by definition, not inflicting upon someone the penalties that justice requires.

Quote:
God is Just, that is true. But in His mercy, He has given us a way to avoid that Justice. Let me put it this way. By being sinners, Justice requires that we go to hell. God made it that way because He is just. However, God also set up a way to avoid paying the price that we ought to pay. Through Jesus Christ, whom God sent in His Mercy, we avoid being judged....we avoid the just punishment we deserve.

I don't think it's necessarily a contradiction for God to be both Just and Merciful. Even if it were a contradiction, I'm not sure that it's impossible for God to simultaneously hold both of those traits.


This would negate Purgatory, wouldn't it? Mercy comes to us in not being sent to Hell for our transgressions. Justice comes in the temporal punishment for the sins we commit before being admitted to Heaven.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:50 pm 
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GoodSamaritan wrote:
This would negate Purgatory, wouldn't it? Mercy comes to us in not being sent to Hell for our transgressions. Justice comes in the temporal punishment for the sins we commit before being admitted to Heaven.



It wouldn't negate purgatory. Think of it like this, in the absence of going directly to heaven there are two options:

A finite amount of time in purgatory versus eternity in hell.

I'm sure we'd all agree that any finite amount of time spent in purgatory is infinitely better than an infinite amount of time in hell. It's the comparison between a finite bad thing and and infinite bad thing. The finite is infinitely more merciful than the infinite.

Anywany, IMHO, the purpose of purgatory isn't punishment, per se.....for what amount of punishment can equal transgressing against an infinitely good being? No amount would be sufficient. IMHO, the intent of purgatory is not punishment, but to purify us; to prepare us for entering into heaven.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:10 pm 
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Purgatory is reputed NOT to feel good. Is it not temporal punishment due for sin? St. Augustine called it 'temporary punishment'. It is what links God's mercy to God's justice. Instead of getting the death penalty, God gives us 5 to 10 with time off for good behavior. Justice always entails some measure of reparation (CCC 2487, i think) even if the offender has been forgiven. Purgatory reveals God's mercy by preserving us from our rightful sentence. It also reveals God's justice in that reparation is made to God in the form of temporal punishment.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:34 pm 
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St. Thomas Aquinas said that the the justice due in any offense depends upon the person offended. For example, the penalty for striking a king is greater than that for striking a peasant. Since God's goodness it infinite, Aquinas argued that any offense against God deserves an infinite punishment. How can any amount of time in purgatory really be considered as paying our debt for sin? To claim such a thing is almost degrading to Christ's sacrifice...simply because we could just rely on purgatory rather than the blood of Christ to eventually end up in heaven.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:04 pm 
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Max Majestic wrote:
St. Thomas Aquinas said that the the justice due in any offense depends upon the person offended. For example, the penalty for striking a king is greater than that for striking a peasant. Since God's goodness it infinite, Aquinas argued that any offense against God deserves an infinite punishment. How can any amount of time in purgatory really be considered as paying our debt for sin? To claim such a thing is almost degrading to Christ's sacrifice...simply because we could just rely on purgatory rather than the blood of Christ to eventually end up in heaven.


We could rely on purgatory, but we don't. The Redemption of Our Lord 'pardons' us from the eternal sentence for our sins, hence, the mercy. The purgation does not prevent us from Hell, the Lord's ultimate sacrfice does. Still, we are not Protestants. We do not believe that He covered the tab (defined: temporal punishment) for our personal sins. Punishment is due for sin, hence, the reparation and subsequent justice. Is the punishment we endure sufficient or fitting of our crime? As you said, most definitely not. Still, our suffering is reparation, however insufficient it may be.

Hence Augustine is correct. When we strike God, we are deserving of eternal damnation. His Son paid the debt so that we don't have to endure that punishment but the King still demands justice for the offense. This comes in the form of pain 'more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life.' (St. Gregory) and ' a thousand times greater agony' than torturing agony we can know on Earth. Thus the reparation we experience in Purgatory seems to meet God's standard of justice since we cannot be defiled in any manner to be in union with Him.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:58 pm 
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Because God is just, He must punish sin and the result of sinning is death.

But, because of His mercy and by His grace He gives us the gift of life through the sacrifice of Jesus.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Romans 6:23

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