Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Outrageous Agenda: Be Merciful as Your Lord is Merciful.

"To err is human, to forgive is divine."--Alexander Pope

The Christian in the Bible book of Saint Matthew is exhorted to follow the way of the Lord, the way of his mercies. The Beatitudes sums up the genuine idea of the Messiah, the Christ, and the kingdom very well to the ancient and the modern Judeo-Christian mind.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.

Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

Mercy in Judaism is considered a fundamental act, an act from which all other acts are formed. The Jewish mind sees alms-giving in all its forms as a beautiful thing.

William Shakespeare wrote of mercy:

"The quality of mercy is not strained, it drops as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed; It blesses him who gives, and him who takes; it is the mightiest in the mighty; it becomes the enthroned monarch better than his crown; his sceptre shows the force of temporal power, the attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein does sit the dread and fear of Kings; but mercy is above this sceptred sway, it is enthroned in the hearts of kings."

The simple mind contemplates carefully the acts and understandings which lead to mercy, to compassion. To those oddities of self, of soul, defects in understanding; false notions lead away from the heart of the One. All is in the realm of simple understanding, of deep looking and clearer thinking.

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