Taken from Preparation for Death
"Mercy exalteth itself above judgment."
St. James 2:13
The Mercy of God
God Calls the Sinner
Consider, moreover, the mercy of God in calling the sinner to
repentance. When Adam rebelled against the Lord, and hid
himself from His face, behold, God, having lost Adam, goes in search of
him, and calls him as it were with tears. Adam, where art thou?
"These," says Father Pereira in his commentary on this passage, "are
the words of a father seeking a lost son." My brother, God has often
done the same to you. You fled from God, and He sought after you,
calling you at one time by His inspiration, at another by remorse of
conscience, now by sermons, again by tribulations, and by the death of
your friends. Speaking of you, Jesus appears to say I have labored with crying: My jaws have
[Ps. 68:4] My son, I have
almost lost My voice in calling you to repentance. Remember, O
sinners, says St. Teresa, that that Lord Who will one day be your
judge, is now calling you to return to Him.
Dearly beloved Christian, how often have you been deaf to the calls of
God? You deserved that He should call you no more; but your God has
not ceased to call you, because He wishes to make peace with you, and
to save you. Who was it that called you? A God of infinite majesty.
And what were you but a miserable fetid worm! Why did He call you? For
no other purpose than to restore to you the life of grace which you had
lost? Return ye and live.
[Ezek. 18:32] To acquire the Divine grace, it would
be but little to live in a desert during your entire life. God offered
to give you His grace at each moment, if you wished to obtain it by
making an act of contrition, and you refused. And after all this, God
has not abandoned you, He has gone in search of you, as it were
weeping, and saying: Son, why will you bring yourself to perdition?
And why will you die, O house of
When man commits a mortal sin, he banishes God from his soul. The
wicked have said to God, Depart from
[Job 21: 14] But what does God do? He
places Himself at the door of that ungrateful heart. Behold, I stand at the gate and knock
[Apoc. 3:20] He even appears to entreat the soul to allow Him to enter.
Open to me, My sister
5:2] He grows weary praying for admission. I am weary of entreating thee
Yes, says St. Denis, the Areopagite, God follows sinners like a
despised lover, entreating them not to destroy their souls. And this
precisely the Apostle meant when he
wrote to his disciples. For Christ,
I beseech you to be reconciled to God.
[2 Cor. 5:20] In
explaining this passage. St. John Chrysostom
makes a beautiful reflection "Christ Himself entreats you; but what
does He entreat you to do? To be reconciled to God; for it is not God
that acts like an enemy, but you." The Saint's meaning is, that the
sinner has not to labor in order to move God to make peace with him;
for he, and not God, refuses peace.
Ah! this good Lord goes every day in search of so many sinners,
continually saying to them: Ungrateful souls, do not
flyaway any longer; tell me why you fly away from Me? I love your
welfare, and desire nothing else than to
make you happy. Why will you destroy yourselves? But, O Lord, what is
it Thou dost? Why so much patience and so much love toward these
rebels? What good dost Thou expect from them? It redounds but little to
Thy honor to show such an excess of love for the miserable worms that
fly away from Thee. What is a man,
that Thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost Thou Set Thy heart upon him.
Affections and Prayers
Behold, O Lord! at Thy feet an ungrateful soul, imploring mercy,
Father, forgive me. I call Thee Father, because Thou wishest me thus to
call Thee. My Father, pardon me, I do not deserve pity, for I have
treated Thee with ingratitude because Thou hast been bountiful to me.
Ah, my God! through that goodness which did not allow Thee to abandon
me when fled from Thee, receive me, now that I return to Thee. Give me.
O my Jesus! a great sorrow for the offences I have offered to Thee, and
give me the kiss of peace. I am sorry above all things for the injuries
I have done Thee; I detest and abhor them, and I unite this hatred and
abhorrence to that which Thou, O my Redeemer! didst feel for them in
the garden of Gethsemane. Ah! pardon me through the merits of that
blood which Thou hast shed for me in the garden. I promise firmly never
more to depart from Thee, and to banish from my heart every affection
which is not for Thee. My Jesus, my love! I love Thee above all
things: I wish always to love Thee, and love Thee alone: give me
strength to execute this good will, make me all Thine. O Mary, my hope
after Jesus! thou art the Mother of mercy: pray to God for me, and have
pity on me.