Mercy for All

There is always a challenge to following Christ and living according to His teachings.  We are to be holy as God is holy, and yet we are taught to practice hospitality, forgiveness, patience  and mercy with the sinner.

St. John Cassian (d. 435AD) writes:

“A very clear proof of the fact that a soul has not yet cut loose from the corruption of sin is when it feels no sympathizing pity for the wrongdoing of others but holds instead to the strict censoriousness of a judge. For how can someone attain perfection of heart if he does not possess what the apostle described as the Law’s consummation when he said, ‘Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2)? How can he do so if he does not possess that virtue of charity ‘which is not annoyed, is not boastful, which does not think evil, which endures everything and is a support for everything’ (1 Cor. 13:4-7). For ‘the just man has compassion for the live of his beasts, but there is not pity in the hearts of the unjust’ (Prv. 12:19). And therefore it is most certain that he yields to the very sins which he condemns in someone else with unmerciful and inhuman severity. ‘The stern king will tumble into evil’ (Prv. 13:17). ‘He who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself call out, and there will be none to listen to him’ (Prv. 21:13).” (Conferences, pg. 149)