Just a brief exploration of mercy from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:
Mercy is what we get when faults are overlooked.
That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 35 – The Creator
Justice itself can be a Mercy.
God, however, as has been pointed out in the very beginning of these pages, does not only punish the wrongdoings of His children. He chastises because He is just, and He chastens because He loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His great mercy, leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act of chastening them He prepares them for the mission for which He has created them. “My calamity is My providence,” He, by the mouth of Bahá’u’lláh, has assured them, “outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy.”
Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 115
Sometimes, humans use apparent mercy to entrap others.
Therefore, the truly great man does not injure others and does not credit himself with charity and mercy.
Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang tr)
We certainly could use more human mercy in our world !
Bounty waits on squalid hunger, gifts dispel the suppliant’s fear,
Gold revives the poor and lowly, mercy wipes the mourner’s tear,
Tender care relieves the stricken by the gracious king’s command,
Charity with loving sweetness spreads her smile o’er all the land!
Hindu, Mababharata (R. Dutt, abridged tr)
It’s our duty as spiritual beings to be merciful.
This is the hour when ye must associate with all the earth’s peoples in extreme kindliness and love, and be to them the signs and tokens of God’s great mercy. Ye must become the very soul of the world, the living spirit in the body of the children of men.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20
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