We'd like to say thank you to all of you from more than 20 countries who purchased our new book MILITANT. Many Catholics are a little confused when they keep seeing the headlines and hearing these discussions coming out of this Synod about changing Church teaching, changing practices, changing language to accept sinful situations.
Much of how the Church got to this point is exactly the topic of the book MILITANT. It's a must-read for anyone who needs to know or wants to know what happened, who is responsible and so forth — and not just for nosiness' sake, but to understand the problem so you can help others to understand and hopefully bring some people back to the One True Church established by the Son of God. Our first printing is all set to go, so get your pre-order in today so you can be among the first to receive your copy. Thank you ahead of time.
Now, a lot of talk, seemingly endless talk, is swirling around the Synod about mercy. But that talk is oftentimes misapplied by bishops and cardinals. In fact, even the understanding of the Church seems to be lost on a surprising number of bishops here.
Mercy is being misconstrued and consequently misapplied, leading to all sorts of confusion. Mercy is not just ignoring someone’s sins. Likewise, it is not downplaying the sin. The very act of reaching out to someone in a life of committed sin is merciful. It's what God did for us. It is the first movement.
Mercy doesn't ignore the sin. Nor does it overlook the consequences of the sin, which are deadly. Mercy is the reaching out to the person, in spite of the sin, to save them from the sin, as St. Paul says to the Romans quite succinctly: "for while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Mercy is the extension of grace to someone who does not warrant it, is not worthy of it. This is why it is the first movement. But it is not the only movement, nor is it an end in itself. A second movement is now required on the part of the recipient. Mercy is made available freely, but it is not free to obtain. Think of it like a great sale on some spectacular piece of merchandise — let's say, the most expensive car in the world, normally selling for $2 million. There's simply no way on the planet that you or I could afford it — out of our reach. But then the owner, taking pity on us, says he will sell it to us for $100.
That is the merciful act — the making it available to us in the first place, something we could never have obtained on our own in a million lifetimes. Now comes the part where we have to respond. Now the object of the mercy is within our grasp and that means we have to respond. We have to make our sacrifice to obtain mercy. We have to reach into our pockets and fork over the $100.
Too many Churchmen here in Rome have their theology all twisted. They think mercy is the guy just gives you the car. No!
Mercy is the guy making the car available to you whereas it would never be available any other way. Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. God calling us out of sin, instead of letting us rot and die in it, which is what justice demands — this is mercy.
For again, grace is giving us what we do not deserve. Mercy is not giving us what we do deserve. And justice is giving us what we do deserve. This is why all the saints were rightfully terrified of the justice of God. God always extends His mercy, at least to a point. But if the person does not cooperate with it, pay his $100 for the otherwise unattainable benefit, then the mercy isn't denied as much as it is rejected, and the consequences of the loss of grace and mercy now engulf the person.
But seldom in public are we hearing any kind of correct discussion of mercy along these lines. Various cardinals and bishops just parade into the press room and give interviews to reporters talking in incredibly distorted vocabulary about mercy. If you are breathing and have a twinge of conscience about your sin, that is God's mercy reaching down to you, to call you to repentance, to the sacraments. The King of the universe is making you the deal of a lifetime — a spiritual lifetime, an eternity. And it is coming to you through His Holy Catholic Church.
Do not reject His Mercy. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
Pray for the bishops and the Synod, Catholics — your Rosary, every day. It is appalling hearing some of these successors to the Apostles distort the truth of Our Blessed Lord.