Mercy: “Blessed Are The Merciful” ~ Carlo Carretto

Blessed are the merciful: they shall obtain mercy . . . . I have come across some religious Sisters who would have been prepared to die as martyrs to preserve their virginity but who were not prepared to expend one ounce of goodwill to establish good working relations with a nearby convent. I have known parents who made extreme sacrifices to provide their children with food but who could not manage to make even the smallest effort to reach agreement between themselves and stop abusing one another.

I have seen bishops spend themselves to the point of exhaustion in service to the Church, but who could not bring themselves to go out of their ‘palaces’ in search of the lost sheep, their primary purpose being to prop up their own undisputed authority and the dignity of the Church. It might well appear from this that the gospel is no longer read, and that we have replaced it with a thousand and one other ways of interpreting our relationship with God and with our fellow men and women.

Each of us has some object of adoration, some subject we set up on our altar; for one it will be chastity, for another the honor of the Church, and for others it will be work or economy or  a good name, canon law, or a moral treatise, an old catechism or a new one, but few, all too few, are prepared to adore the loving will of Jesus . . . .

We are not happy because we are unforgiving, and we are unforgiving because we feel superior to others. Mercy is a fruit of the highest degree of love, because it creates equals, and a greater love makes us inferior . . . .

Three premises:

  • Those who do not love feel superior to everyone else.
  • Those who love feel equal to everyone else.
  • Those who love much gladly take the lower place.

Three degrees of the spiritual life on earth:

  • Death for those who do not love.
  • Life for those who love.
  • Holiness for those who love much.

From Carlo Carretto Essential Writings edited by Robert Ellsberg pp.88-91

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