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Like Gentle Rain

I had just run my little mower on my front lawn and liked how the grass looked -- even and smooth. There was plenty of sun the couple of days that followed, and then there was rain in the afternoon and overnight, not too much, not too little, but gentle. This morning, I woke up and saw my lawn a greener and thicker carpet of grass. I liked what I saw.

Who is the lover of Shakespeare who did not come across that scene in "The Merchant of Venice" where Portia spoke about rain, coincidentally, thus:

"The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes."

The mercy of God is like that. It is like rain that falls on everybody, the just and the unjust. Rain means blessings to all, and for the righteous and unrighteous, a call that refreshes the soul.

The mercy of God is like gentle rain that gives us peace even in times of trouble, that makes us grow in our own compassion, and calls us to continuing conversion. But the mercy of God is also like an ocean, immense and inexhaustible. We can invoke that mercy over our parched souls and be confident that it will refresh us, cleanse us, but will not drown us.

The mercy of God is also a call for us to be merciful to others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Jesus said: “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” (Luke 3:11) And if a brother has transgressed us, we must be ever ready to forgive without counting the number of times we must do so. Often we are reminded: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Like the gentle rain that made my lawn luxuriantly green, our love, mercy and forgiveness will, by the grace of God, Who is Most Loving, Most Merciful, and Most Forgiving, help make others loving, merciful and forgiving, too.

"The quality of mercy is not strained. It cometh as the gentle rain from heaven. . . It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes." #


"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world." Chaplet of the Divine Mercy

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