The Meaning of Mercy

2017-08-28T14:17:05+00:00 Aug 28th, 2017|Categories: Blogs, Thrift Store Saints|Tags: |0 Comments

In this week’s chapter, Kerry is seeking for a meaning of the word ‘mercy’ and what implications it has on her Lenten efforts.  She has decided to spend her Lent trying to accomplish the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy.  She mentions the following quote from St. Basil the Great as a possible meaning.  “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

As Kerry admits in the chapter, the quote is a hard pill to swallow.  I have heard variations of it before from various saints and present-day clergy.  It calls into question the idea that failing to act is itself an injustice.  If this is the case, I’m sure I have already committed a multitude of injustices in my short lifetime.

For your reflection:

  1. What do you think of the quote from St Basil?

  2. What does the word ‘mercy’ mean to you?

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