Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori

In the Year of Mercy, This May Be the Most Merciful Thing You Can Do

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/18/16

Leave it to the great Joanne McPortland  to discover a pearl of great price buried in the pope’s new exhortation:

Amid the controversy surrounding Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), one extraordinary section has been all but overlooked. In chapter 4, “Love in Marriage,” the Holy Father offers a moving exegesis of that popular wedding reading, St. Paul’s ode to love from 2 Corinthians. It’s about more than marriage, though; it’s mercy in action. The love that St. Paul celebrates as the greatest and most enduring virtue is intended to be the pattern for every human relationship. That’s why Pope Francis’s reflections (in paragraphs 112-113 of Amoris Laetitia) on the phrase “[Love] bears all things” blew me away.

First, Paul says that love “bears all things” (panta stégei). This is about more than simply putting up with evil; it has to do with the use of the tongue. The verb can mean “holding one’s peace” about what may be wrong with another person. … In seeking to uphold God’s law we must never forget this specific requirement of love. (AL #112, emphasis original)

This week’s Jubilee Year suggestion for practicing mercy (#17) is, then, not just an optional nice thing to do but a “specific requirement of love”: Hold. Your. Tongue. Far more often than I want to admit, the merciful thing, the loving thing to do is to hush. It’s not a new notion. The Letter of James pulls no punches about the destructive power of unmerciful speech among the first Christians.

Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. (James 3:5-6)

Today we would amend James’s description to include the typing fingers and the texting thumbs, equally susceptible to Hell’s arson and equally setting lives on fire with malice.

Read it all, including Joanne’s excellent suggestions for putting this advice into practice in our daily lives.

Photo: Pixabay

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
2
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
3
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
4
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
5
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
6
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
7
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More