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Mercy

8 May 2014
The often ignored idea of 'mercy' is gaining prominence in religious reflection. The opposite of mercy is to interiorly hold something against another. It maintains an inner "press" or "pressure" on the other - it "op-presses" or "sup-presses". An inner stance weighing or leaning on others can harden over time. Thus socio-political policies build on inner suppositions, they place others under ("sup") a "position" I hold (the "untermensch"). Secretly "positioning" lesser others (Jews, Muslims, Christians or whoever) "under" my superior self or religion or culture is untrue and spawns evil. Instead an attitude of mercy knows that I and any other are the same. I am not better or greater than another. It confesses that I often fail in life in being kind and generous and need repeated mercy. The lesson is that external dialogue and progress is impossible if I cannot admit my inner false rightness. Truly, ones inner state of spirit, our spirituality, is that which blocks or facilitates any social response. St Francis, Gandhi and Mandela had to win life-long interior battles before gaining big outer results. Every peacemaker has to learn a mercy that holds back re-action to choose a positive, higher, way. Mercy is a kind of "gatekeeper" that repels the bad coming in and squashes evil trying out. The real test is that I not merely "allow" others the same goodness that I expect, but "positively wish and do" the other good. Above all, it allows "God" to pour in goodness on any encounter with the other. Like the old Western films, without mercy, life happens between "the good" and "the bad." In seeing ourselves as good and others as bad, we slowly turn into "the ugly." For hidden inner reasons, we hold shut the door "against" the other: in holding out, we also push away peace. It is mercy that unlocks. Only a mercy that lets go can let others free, and so open to life with others panerai replica watches .

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