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March 19th, 2015

Merciful hour?

The quality of mercy is not strained,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

‘Tis mightiest in the mighty: it becomes

The thronéd 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 heart of kings,

It is an attribute to God Himself,

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice.

—The Merchant of Venice

How good to hear that our Holy Father has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy!  Mercy is surely at its most authentic when applied to those  whom one most dislikes. I can do no better than once again to quote Fr John Hunwicke:

One particular group on the periphery of Church life, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, must be mightily relieved by this announcement. I expect their restoration to a proper canonical state will be the main content of the Bull on Mercy to be published on Low Sunday.






  1. I learned that speech at school and, as I recall it, there are a couple of missing lines here!

  2. Quite right! I have updated it.

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