Open to me now through his body’s wounds are his heart’s secret, the great mystery of love “the merciful heart of our God who has visited us from on high.” What kind of heart do the wounds reveal? A gentile, sweet and most merciful heart! Can anyone show greater mercy than to lay down his life for those condemned to death?

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Sermon 61 on the Song of Songs.


In prayer, one comes to know one’s self, one’s creatureliness and misery, and at the same time God’s immense love. If one turns the eyes of the spirit to the Heart of Christ, the soul contemplates the Word incarnate, divinity united to humanity. In this Heart of mercy, one comes to the knowledge of God and his infinite love for humanity. The cell of self-knowledge is found within the heart: the human heart and the Heart of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
“The Secret of the Heart: A Theological Study of Catherine of Siena’s Teaching on the Heart of Jesus.” Sr. Mary Jeremiah, 1995 Christendom Press, page 17

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

We can pray for and should pray for mercy, but what is mercy?

“Mercy. God’s loving care for all creatures, especially human beings, which invites us, in turn, to empathize with and alleviate the misery of others.”
Gerald O’Collins and Edward G. Farrugia, A Concise Dictionary of Theology (New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2013), page 152.

We can also learn from Jesus as He teaches about this: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13) For Jesus wants us to have loving care for Him, by us showing and giving loving care for our brothers and sisters. This care/mercy for others is accomplished in the corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry…) and also praying for others. We should both pray for ourselves and others to receive mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on my family.