Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Be Merciful

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
O Lord, before thy searching eyes
all my desires appear;
 my groans have surely been too loud
not to have reached thine ear.
 —Psalm Psalm 38:9
Suggested tune: Detroit (CM)

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
—Luke 6:36-37a
This noble virtue is nowadays quite a stranger to the hearts of many, much to the detriment of society. For all are called to exercise this mercy towards their neighbors, whenever the latter may have need of it—not only regarding the giving of earthly goods, but also the bearing of a neighbor’s faults in all gentleness and mercy.

But no! Everyone falls upon their neighbor and judges him or her; and as soon as any mishap befalls a person, whether deserved or not, straightway, without waiting to take thought, another comes along and lends a helping hand to make matters worse, to put a bad face on the situation, suggesting the most evil interpretation that can be imagined. It is only due to the grace of God should people fail to embellish what really happened with their own wicked imaginings. Evil tongues (from which arise untold sorrows and vexations) are at work at once before anyone has time to reflect and pass thoughtful judgment.

Poor creature! If you love your eternal salvation, always wait until you can calmly reflect, and think before you speak. For it is a base and scandalous thing for a person to pass sentence so thoughtlessly and rashly—and often undeservedly—upon one's neighbors. Indeed, people's sharp and ruthless are nothing less than killing a neighbor in the hearts of others. 

And who has commanded you to pass judgment? Not Christ, for he tells us that whoever judges another shall be judged by God.
 —Johannes Tauler, 14th century
I thank you that you hear my prayers and show me mercy, O God. Forgive me when I, your forgiven child, fail to show mercy to a neighbor. Keep me vigilant in my relationships that I not pass judgment. Give me an open ear to listen before speaking, an open mind to gather all the facts instead of entertaining gossip, and an open heart to forgive rather than condemn...
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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