By: Marita Flynn OSF
The perfection of God and the quality of mercy are almost synonymous.
Mercy is the outpouring to others of God’s gift of mercy that we have experienced. It helps us to manifest compassion, care and concern for every human being. The more we express ourselves as merciful individuals, the more fully we can experience God’s abundant love.
The one who knows mercy, especially in the form of forgiveness, (pardon) promotes a sense of serenity and confidence to those in their presence. Such a person stands in contrast to the one who is vengeful.
Let us learn to forgive, heartfelt pardon given and received is always an act of Divine mercy.1
St. Francis most certainly was known for his great love for all. During the latter years of his life while on retreat at Monte Verna, he received the holy wounds of the Stigmata. He was suffering greatly and the brothers decided to take him to San Damiano so that he could be cared for by Clare and her sisters. After a while he continued his journey and even in his weakness and pain he did not deny himself to the people.
When he did speak, he could only utter a few words which have been included for our inspiration.
“Love God…Remember that Jesus redeemed you ….Revere His alters where He gives you Himself …Learn His peace and let it possess your hearts…Never covet, Forgive those who hurt you and win your enemy’s friendship…. Turn away from sin …Praise God for the world He has made.”2
Resources used: 1. Michael H. Crosby, O.F.M. (deceased), “Spirituality of the Beatitudes,” Orbis Books, 1991, 2. E.M. Almedingen, “St. Francis of Assisi–A Great Life In Brief,” Alfred A. Knopf, 1967.