I know we as Catholics are called by Christ to be merciful. I know that Pope Francis has spoken not a small deal about mercy and about God's mercy.
'Mercy' is central to the Kasper proposal, but his is a mercy that is not rooted in the Gospel. It is, rather, a new Gospel devoted to mercy, but it isn't Christ's Gospel.
My understanding of God's mercy is that His mercy - available to all who desire it - isn't there for no reason. It isn't there to make us feel 'accepted' in a community. God's mercy is His very, very, very loving response to the scandal, the detestable offense that is our sin. As others have noted, mercy is certainly there as a theme in the Gospel, but it isn't the central theme. The central theme is Jesus Himself.
I hope that, soon enough, the same prelates who are singing canticles to the Mercy of God while advocating distributing Jesus Himself to unrepentant mortal sinners will outline the following:
What is so special and wonderful about God's mercy?
It is God's great mercy that saves us.
What does God's mercy save us from?
Sin and the consequences of our sin.
What are the consequences of our sin?
If mortal, that'll be eternal damnation.
|'Damnation, yeah? You still believe in that medieval hogwash?'|
Of course, there are other consequences to our sins too, in this life. Family break-up, addictions, self-destructive behaviour, societal breakdown and others, but you would think that the prelates banging on about mercy 24/7 would have some inkling - and at least mention it - as to why, in Catholic understanding, God's mercy is so wonderful and treasurable, why it should be proclaimed.
Alas, it doesn't seem to sink in. Many bishops can say the word 'mercy' a thousand times and never - for a moment - consider what the spiritual effects of God's mercy are - the bringing of the soul from death - eternal death, to life - Eternal Life.
Unfortunately, that would involve talking about sin and that's just not the kind of language that is fitting for modern man, so modern man and woman can go to Hell in a handcart as far as they are concerned. Instead we got things like 'pastoral accompaniment', whatever that means? If that means spiritual direction from a trusted priest when you're in a sinful state that you want to change, then that's great, but its so ambiguous that it could be interpreted as...
'I see there that you are in mortal sin and have zero desire to return to the practise of the Faith. Mind if I just walk with you a while and give you Jesus Christ so you can eat and drink your own condemnation, would that be okay? Save you? No, I don't want to save you, I'm here to assist your journey to Hell because I am merciful.'
Yes, that's what happens when 'Pastors' think they are more 'merciful' than Christ. The Church's teaching is REAL mercy because it reminds all who attend the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus is neither a 'reward for the just' or 'medicine for the weak' but essentially the embracing of Communion with Jesus Christ. If we are not in Communion with Him, we should not receive Him because He is Holy. To receive Him in mortal sin is sacrilege.
Yes, we should be merciful. Priests and Bishops should be merciful, but when we are taught by Christ to be merciful in the Beatitudes it is with some purpose in mind.
'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy'.
Why do we want to 'obtain mercy'?
In a nutshell, so that we may avoid the eternal punishments of Hell and gain admittance into Heaven.
Our Lord in the Gospel tells us that the unmerciful will not be shown mercy because that would insult His Justice, but there is zero evidence that within His definition of the 'unmerciful' are those pastors who follow the Church's discipline of not giving unrepentant mortal sinners the impression that their sin no longer matters, for the sake of their eternal salvation.