Mercy is the Perfection of Justice September 28, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa, scandals, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
We hear so much about mercy these days, but is the proper sense of mercy being conveyed? Mercy detached from justice is just false sentimentality. It is not redolent of true Christian charity, but represents a false charity that is poisonous for souls in that in leaves them mired in error and sin. This false mercy is in fact the inversion of true mercy, which is predicated on justice and, thus, conversion (or at least serious repentance). That is why all these “openings” to the world that have been tried in the past several decades have failed to produce the result that is publicly claimed for them: the “bringing back” of fallen away, discomfited souls, or the winning of great numbers of converts to the Church. They have failed because they are founded on a false premise and they are not in concert with the means of the working of Grace.
Bishop Sheen expands on the topic below, via the Catholic Gentleman:
As the world grows soft, it uses more and more the word mercy. This could be a praiseworthy characteristic if mercy were understood right. But too often by mercy is meant letting anyone who breaks the natural or the Divine law, or who betrays his country, simply get away with such acts with impunity. Such mercy is an emotion, not a virtue, when it justifies the killing by a son of his father because he is “too old.” To avoid any imputation of guilt, what is actually a murder is called euthanasia. [or in the case of baby killing, abortion]
Forgotten in all such mercy pleas is the principle that mercy is the perfection of justice. Mercy does not come first, and then justice; but rather justice first, then mercy. The divorce of mercy and justice is sentimentality, as the divorce of justice from mercy is severity. Mercy is not love when it is divorced from justice. He who loves anything must resist that which would destroy the object of his love. The power to become righteously indignant is not an evidence of the want of mercy and love, but rather a proof of it. [YES! Thank you! And yet we are told today that those who are indignant over the state of the Church and the many errors promoted as truth are “divisive” or even “disobedient.” There may come a time when even many of us, comfortable though we may be in our current situations, may have to choose between “obedience” and truth. Are we prepared?]
There are some crimes the tolerance of which is equivalent to consent to their wrong. Those who ask for the release of murderers, traitors, and the like, on the grounds that we must be “merciful, as Jesus was merciful,” forget that that same Merciful Saviour also said that He came not to bring peace, but the sword.
As a mother proves that she loves her child by hating the physical disease which would ravage the child’s body, so Our Lord proves he loved Goodness by hating evil, which would ravage the souls of his creatures. For a doctor to be merciful to a typhoid germs or polio in a patient, or for a judge to be tolerant of rape, would be in a lower category of evil than for Our Lord to be indifferent to sin. A mind that is never stern or indignant is either without love, or else is dead to the distinction between right and wrong. [So rage on, you rad trads! oops. Left a little zinger in here. Took it out]
Love can be stern, forceful, or even fierce, as was the love of the Savior……..When a gentle hint to a woman at the well did no good, He went to the point ruthlessly and reminded her that she had five divorces.
When so-called righteous men would put Him out of the way, He tore the mask off their hypocrisy and called them a “brood of vipers.” When He heard of the shedding of the blood of the Galileans, it was with formidable harshness that He said: “You will all perish as they did, if you do not repent.” Equally stern was He to those would offend the little ones with an education that was progressive in evil: “If anyone hurts the conscience of one of these little ones that believes in me, he had better been drowned in the depths of the sea with a mill-stone tied around his neck.”
If mercy meant the forgiveness of all faults without retribution and without justice, it would end in a multiplication of wrongs. Mercy is for those who will not abuse it, and no man will abuse it who already started to make the wrong right, as justice demands. What some today call mercy is not mercy at all, but a feather-bed for those who fall from justice; and thus they multiply guilt and evil by supplying such mattresses.
Need I say anymore? Sheen is on rock-solid moral ground here, and his catechesis is as excellent as it is thorough and to the point.
The notion of mercy being spread abroad from scandalous sources has been shredded. What next?