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? [Gen. 3:9] "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 become hoarse. [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 Israel? [Ezek. 18:31]

When man commits a mortal sin, he banishes God from his soul. The wicked have said to God, Depart from us. [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. [Cant. 5:2] He grows weary praying for admission. I am weary of entreating thee. [Jer. 15:6] 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. [Job 7:17]

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.