Taken from Preparation for Death

"Mercy exalteth itself above judgment." St. James 2:13

The Mercy of God

God Receives the Sinner with Kindness

The princes of the earth disdain even to look at the rebel who comes to ask pardon; but God acts not in this manner with us: He will not turn away His face from you, if you return to Him. [2 Par. 30:9] God cannot turn away His face from those who return and cast themselves at His feet: no; for He Himself invites them, and promises to receive them as soon as they come. Return to Me, saith the Lord, and I will receive. [Jer. 3:1] THE DIVINE SHEPHERD Turn to Me ... and I will turn to you, saith the Lord of Hosts. [Zach. 1:3] Oh! with what love and tenderness does God embrace the sinner that returns to him. This love and tenderness Jesus Christ wished to give us to understand by the parable of the sheep, which the shepherd, when he found it, placed on his shoulders.

Doth he not lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing, and coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to thm: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost. [Luke 15:5] The Redeemer adds: There shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance. This tenderness the Saviour declared more fully in the parable of the prodigal son; in which He tells us that He is the father Who, when He saw His lost son returning, runs to meet him, and before His son utters a word, embraces and kisses him, and in embracing him, almost swoons away through tenderness of consolation. And running to him He fell upon his neck and kissed him. [Luke  15:20]

The Lord promises that, if sinners repent, he will even (orget their sins, as if they had never offended him, /.f the wicked c/o penance, , .livi1lg he shall live, .0 , I Wlll not remember all his tiliquities that he hath clolle.' He even
, goes so far as to say, Come and accuse Me, sat'th the Lord; r tf your si,ts be as scarlet, they shall be madt' as white as SllOW,. ~ As if he said 0: Sinners, COllle and accu.\'e .cJfe,' if I do not ~ pardon you, reprove me, upbraid me with having been ~ unfaithful to my promises, But no; God knows not ~ Itow to despise an humble and contrite heart,
~ The Lord glories in showing mercy and granting par- don to sinners. And there.fore shall He be exalted sparing you,' And how long does he defer pardon? Not an in- stant: he grants it immediately. Weeping, says the Prophet Isaias, thOl1 shalt not 1veep... He wIll sllrel;' have pity on thee' Sinners, exclaims the propllet, you have not long to weep; at the first tear the Lord will be moved to pity; At the voice of thy cry, as SOOtl as He shall hear, He 1V II anS1l'er thee.. God does not treat us as we treat him: we are deaf to the calls of God: but as soon as he shllll h"lrr, he 1lltll ansTtler tllee..' the very instant you repent and ask forgiveness, God an!;wers and grants your pardon,

Affections and Prayers

O my God! against whom have 1 rebelled? Against Thee. who art so good, against Tilee that h~st created me. and died for me. After so many acts of treason. Thee hast borne with me. Ah! the thougllt of the patience Thou hast had \vith me ought to make me live always on fire \vitll Thy love. And who \\'()uld lIave borne so long as Thou hast the injuries whicll I have done Thee? Miserable shall I be. shoull! 1 ever again .ffend Thee. and condemn myself to hell! 1 already ;;ee that Thy mercy can bear with me no longer. I am sorry. 0 Sover- eign Good! for having offended Thee. 1 love Thee \vith my whole heart: I am resolved to giv~ Thee all tile remainder of lilY life. Hear me, 0 Eternal Father! through the merits of Jesus Christ: give me holy perseverance and Thy love: hear me. 0 my Jesus! for the sake of the blood which Tilou hast &lIed for me. We therefore beseech Thee. asSiSt Thy servants ".hom Thou hast redeemed with Tily precious blood.' 0 Mary. my Mother I look upon me, ..turn thy eyes of mercy to us,., and drdw me entirely to God.