Tagged: Virtues

Thoughts on Justice & Mercy

Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy

St. Thomas Aquinas says this of MERCY:

…mercy is heartfelt sympathy for another’s distress, impelling us to succor him if we can.

Aquinas explains that MERCY is a virtue, and that it is a desire to avoid evil, and to move away from evil. Yet, I have always wondered if MERCY is required. For mercy can’t come without an understanding of JUSTICE.

Justice is a virtue as well.

So when I read about two situations of what I would call MERCY, I wonder if they are required by JUSTICE, or if they are acts of MERCY that are such because they extend beyond the JUSTICE that could be administered.

Deacon Greg Kandra wrote about both, the first being a teacher at a Catholic school who was fired for her pregnancy out of wedlock, a violation of her contract allegedly. The second, the Catholic funeral of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

ladyjusticesquareI believe both situations he describes are acts of MERCY, but if I argue that, does that mean that neither are acts of JUSTICE, but instead are MERCIFUL because they ascend JUSTICE only to transcend it?

Maybe that is how we should all seek to act. To seek out justice in our lives, and find opportunities, and the strength and mental vitality to ACT MERCIFULLY. In some cases think mercifully.