First Comes a Humble Heart
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Mercy begins with humility. Mercy is the generous forgiveness that restores relationships and rights wrongs. Mercy is a manifestation of love in the face of sin. But each act of mercy requires a humble heart, a heart capable of approaching another, confessing a wrong, and asking for forgiveness. Mercy requires an awareness of our sinfulness, and an acceptance that sin is real, and harmful, and damages our relationships.
Last year, in a now famous interview by a journalist, Pope Francis, when asked how best to describe himself, told the world “I am a sinner - this is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
In a later interview, he said that he is tempted to sin regularly—to think “bad thoughts about someone,” for example, and that he must regularly fix his thoughts on the mercy of God and to remember God’s love for all sinners.
We all know humility is not an easy virtue to live in a consistent way. But if we want to be friends of Jesus Christ, intimate disciples of the Lord, we need to approach him as sinners, sinners who are in need of mercy.
The red ray stands for the blood, which is the life of souls.”