Taken from Preparation for Death
"Mercy exalteth itself above judgment."
St. James 2:13
The Mercy of God
God Waits for the Sinner
GOOD is naturally diffusive ---
that is, inclined to communicate its good even to
others. But God, Who is by nature infinite goodness, as St. Leo
expresses himself, has an infinite desire to impart His Own felicity to
us; and therefore His inclination is, not to chastise, but to show
mercy to all. To punish is, according to Isaias, a work opposed to the
inclination of God. He shall be
angry ... that He may do His work, His strange work: His work is
strange to Him
." [28:21] And when the Lord chastises in this
life, He does it in order to show mercy in the next. O God! ... Thou hast been angry, and hast
had mercy on us.
" [Ps. 54:3] He appears angry that we may enter
into ourselves and detest our sins. Thou
hast shown Thy people hard things
; Thou hast made us drink the
wine of sorrow.
[Ps. 54:5] And when He sends us any
does it because He loves us, and wishes to deliver us from eternal
punishment. Thou hast given a
warning to them that fear Thee, that they may flee from before the bow,
that thy beloved may be delivered.
[Ps. 59:6] And who can
sufficiently admire and praise the
mercy of God toward sinners in waiting for them, in calling them, and
in receiving them when they return? Oh! how great is the mercy of
God in waiting for our repentance! My brother, when you offended God,
he could have struck you dead; but he waited for you, and instead of
he conferred favors
upon you, he preserved your
life, and provided for you. He pretended not to see your sins, that
you might repent. Thou overlookest
the sins of men for the sake of penance.
[Wis. 11:24] But, O
Lord, how does it happen that Thou canst not bear
to behold a single sin, and beholdest so many of them in silence?
Thou canst not look on iniquity; Why
lookest Thou upon them that do unjust things, and holdest Thy peace?
[Habac. 1:13] Thou lookest upon the blasphemer, the unchaste, the
multiplying iniquities from day to day; and Thou dost not chastise
him: and why so much patience. Therefore
the Lord waiteth that He may have mercy on thee.
[Is. 30:18] God
waits for sinners,
may amend, and that thus He may pardon and save them.
St. Thomas says, that all creatures, fire, the earth, air,
water, by a natural instinct, would wish to punish and to take
vengeance on the injuries done to their Creator. [Wis. 16:24] But God
in His mercy
restrains them. But, O Lord! Thou waitest for these impious wretches,
that they may see their wickedness: but dost not Thou see that they
ungratefully take advantage of Thy mercy to offend Thee still more?
Thou hast been favorable to the
nation: Thou hast been favorable to
the nation: art Thou glorified?
[Is. 26:15] And why so
much patience? Because
God wills not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and
. [Ezek. 33:11] O patience of God! St. Augustine goes so far
as to say that God,
were He not God, would be unjust on account of His excessive patience
toward sinners. To wait for those who abuse patience to become more
insolent, appears to be an injustice to the Divine honor. "We sin,"
continues the holy Doctor, "we adhere to sin." Some make peace
sin, and sleep in sin for months and years. "Gaudemus de peccato
" --- We rejoice at sin
; others go so far
as to boast of
their wickedness; and Thou art appeased. We provoke Thee to anger ---
invitest us to mercy. We appear to be engaged with God in a contest in
which we labor to provoke Him to chastise our guilt; and He invites us
Affections and Prayers
Ah. my Lord! I know that I deserve to be at this moment in Hell. Hell
is my house. [Job 17:13] But. through Thy mercy, I am not now in that
woe, but I am here at Thy feet, and feel that Thou wishest and
commandest me to love Thee. Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God
. [Deut. 6;5] I hear Thee tell
me that Thou wilt pardon me if I repent of the injuries I have done
Thee. Yes, my God: since Thou wishest me, a miserable rebel against Thy
majesty, to love Thee, I love Thee with my whole heart. and I feel more
regret for the outrages I have offered to Thee. than for any evil that
could have befallen me. Ah! enlighten me, O infinite Goodness; make me
sensible of the wrongs I have done Thee. I will no longer resist Thy
calls. I will give no more displeasure to a God Who has loved me so
tenderly, Who has pardoned me so often and with so much love. Ah!
that I had never offended Thee, my Jesus; pardon me. and grant that.
from this day forward, I may love nothing but Thee: that I may live
only for Thee, Who didst die for me; that I may suffer for Thy love,
since Thou hast suffered so much for the love of me. Thou hast loved me
from eternity; Grant that for eternity I may burn with Thy love. I
hope for all things, O my Saviour, through Thy merits; I trust also in
thee, O Mary; save me by thy intercession.