Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

6/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Far more than an organ of the body, then, the heart suggests the source of compassion, tenderness, kindness - in short, what we call -mercy.

On Friday, the the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Saturday, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  By a happy coincidence, we are concerned to plumb the depths of the mystery of God's mercy this weekend.  The two feasts, however, are not situated by coincidence but by the careful plan of the Church. The heart of Jesus began beating beneath the heart of His Blessed Mother; her heart, in turn, took form from the creative Word and Power of the Heart of God.  Two hearts beating as one.

Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

Highlights

By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D., heart, sacred heart, immacualte heart, mercy, compassion, spirituality


ROYERSFORD, PA. (Catholic Online) - On Friday, the the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Saturday, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  By a happy coincidence, we are concerned to plumb the depths of the mystery of God's mercy this weekend. 

The two feasts, however, are not situated by coincidence but by the careful plan of the Church. The heart of Jesus began beating beneath the heart of His Blessed Mother; her heart, in turn, took form from the creative Word and Power of the Heart of God.  Two hearts beating as one.
   
The heart is a symbol with a rich biblical lineage.  In Hebrew, both the heart and the bowels represent the very depths of a person - where the cognitive and the affective meet in unity and harmony.  Hence, we find passages in the Bible which speak thus: 

"My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred" [Hos 11:8].  Far more than an organ of the body, then, the heart suggests the source of compassion, tenderness, kindness - in short, what we call "mercy." 

An interesting piece of biblical trivia: 

A quick survey of a biblical concordance reveals that the word "mercy" is used more than 200 times in the Sacred Scriptures, while the word "heart" appears over 600 times.  No surprise, then, that St. Augustine, playing with the origins of the Latin word for mercy [misericordia], tells us that God's grace moves us "a miseria ad misericordiam" [from misery to mercy].  "Misericordia,"  you see, comes from two words which combine to mean "having a heart for the miserable."
   
Shakespeare rhapsodized on the beauty and glory of mercy when he had Portia exclaim:

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath:  It is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; It becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God Himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.  Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation:  We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy."


As beautiful as that soliloquy is, as one commentator has observed, "before Shakespeare wrote it, God was it!" 
   
Indeed, God became Mercy Incarnate within the spotless womb of the Virgin Mary.  And she understood it all so well that she broke forth into her canticle of praise, the Magnificat:  "Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum."  [And His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him].  Our Lady was not teaching theology from a textbook but from her own experience of life.  God had touched her so profoundly by His mercy that she became what the Church's lovely night prayer to her rightly calls her - "Mater misericordiae," "Mother of Mercy." 

God the Father sought the young maiden's cooperation with His eternal plan of mercy; God the Holy Spirit overshadowed her with His merciful wings; she became the very seat of Mercy, the Mother of the One Who is "dives in misericordia" [rich in mercy], as the title of Pope John Paul II's encyclical reminds us.
   
Our world, my dear people, needs to hear the message of mercy perhaps as no other age before.  A culture of violence, death, destruction and despair can be healed only by mercy.  You and I, like Blessed Faustina before us, must count ourselves among the apostles of mercy.  But first we must be convinced that mercy has been granted us; otherwise, our words will ring hollow. 

The result of knowing mercy [which comes from the very core or heart of the Being of God] means being grabbed at the very core or heart of our own being - and that gives birth to the emotion [both divine and human] of joy.  Once more, Our Lady leads the way as she sings out:  "Exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo Salvatore meo."  [My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior].  Where mercy spawns joy, melancholy, fear and death are definitively banished.
   
May the Mother of Mercy show us the blessed fruit of her womb, Who is none other than the compassionate face of God, Mercy in the flesh.

------
Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation. The mission of  The Catholic Education Foundation is to serve as a forum through which teachers, administrators and all others interested in Catholic education can share ideas and practices, as well as to highlight successful programs and initiatives to bring about a recovery of Catholic education in our times.The Catholic Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 national non-profit organization formed to ensure a brighter future for Catholic education in the United States.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More U.S.

'Protests are a vital part of democracy': Freddie Gray case continues as another officer is found innocent Watch

Image of Freddie Gray was killed by police after they attempted to drag him into a police van (Gray family).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When 25-year-old Freddie Gray's spine was nearly severed as he was dragged into a police van last April, the city of Baltimore erupted - and it might just flare up again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On April 12, 2015, Gray ran from officers when they attempted ... continue reading


Gallup survey finds less than 4 percent identify as LGBT Watch

Image of Less than 4 percent of the population is LGBT, but they command substantial political clout.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Less than four percent of U.S. adults consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), a Gallup survey finds. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - According to a survey by Gallup, 3.9 percent of U.S. adults consider themselves LGBT. The number of ... continue reading


Supreme Court issues four rulings, do they affect you or someone you know? Watch

Image of The Supreme Court has issued rulings in four cases today.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Supreme Court has issued rulings on four cases today. Those cases involve affirmative action, immigration, drunk driving laws, and repeat offender laws. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Supreme Court has issued rulings in four cases. Here are their ... continue reading


Faith and the Future: Build on the Rock of Jesus and Become the Church Militant Watch

Image of The Church is the rock of refuge and a safe harbor in an age which is being shaken.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The use of the expression Church Militant as a description of the mission of the Church on earth used to be very common. However, for lots of reasons, including a possible misunderstanding of the term in this increasingly violent age, it has fallen out of use. It ... continue reading


Family feud results in one dead teen, violent altercation and a wild police chase Watch

Image of The car lost control, ending the 14-year-old girl's life (WJHL).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Three Washington County teens in Tennessee led police on a 15-mile police chase before a 15-year-old boy lost control of the vehicle, which then rolled and launched a 14-year-old girl through the windshield. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unbelievable chase ... continue reading


'Keep your mouth shut': U.S. school union covers up child abuse Watch

Image of Three union representatives in New York state were recorded covering up child abuse (gracepapers).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An undercover reporter used a hidden camera to record three New York state teacher union representatives defend everything from teachers using cocaine to child abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Project Veritas has released three undercover union videos, each ... continue reading


'Call 911 immediately': Mysterious men in black sighted along desolate roadsides Watch

Image of Strange figures dressed in black have been appearing in several states (Meridith may/Prezi).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Frightening "men in black" sightings have gone from sinister pranks to terrifying threats to public safety. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Muscatine County Sheriff's Department in Iowa has been plagued by 911 calls reporting several sightings of mysterious men ... continue reading


The one startling statistic about Ferguson that everyone is AFRAID to talk about Watch

Image of This is a CHOICE. Nobody is making these people run riot. There are other options for both the police and the citizens.

By David Drudge (California Network)

In an article on the Fourth Amendment and the right of police to stop people without probable cause, an alarming statistic was reported via CNN. Of the 21,000 residents of Ferguson, Missouri, 16,000 had outstanding warrants. This is not a typographical error. LOS ... continue reading


Thomas More, the Man for This Season - for Christians Who Will Not Compromise Watch

Image of Thomas More awaiting execution for his fidelity to the faith

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Thomas More was a morally coherent Christian. That is the lesson of his life - and of his Martyrs death. He beckons millions, across the expanse of time unto today, to follow his example as he followed the example of the Lord. This champion of heroic courage, ... continue reading


'She was able to pry the cat's jaws open': Hero mom saves son from mountain lion Watch

Image of The lion was eventually tracked and killed (American Expedition).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine your two young sons are playing happily in the yard. You excuse yourself for a moment to use the restroom or grab a toy then return to find a mountain lion has your 5-year-old's head in its mouth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrifying situation is ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19
2 The Lord pitilessly engulfed all the homes of Jacob; in his fury he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 74:1-2, 3-5, 5-7, 20-21
1 [Poem Of Asaph] God, why have you finally rejected us, your anger ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:5-17
5 When he went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 25th, 2016 Image

St. William of Vercelli
June 25: William of Vercelli, Saint 1085-1142. founder, ... Read More