The mystery of God’s mercy
Pat Storey, Ireland’s first woman bishop talks about her personal understanding and experience of mercy in this jubilee year declared by Pope Francis.
She focuses on a phrase that resonates with her, “grace is getting what you don’t deserve, mercy is not getting what you do deserve” and says that this is true in her life. She often feels that she is at the receiving end of the mercy of God on a daily basis and doesn’t always think she deserves the abundance of blessings in her life. This in turn leads her into a place of deep gratitude, a spiritual practice that is very much part of her everyday life and something she believes in inextricably linked to mercy.
So too is forgiveness, she says. She acknowledges that it can be a very demanding but nonetheless non-negotiable part of the life of any Christian. She is deeply committed to a justice-based faith but says that while justice is intuitive, mercy is more of a mystery, perhaps even a scandal as it triumphs over justice every time.