Bring out the good

“The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at moral, physical or material evil: mercy is manifested in its true and proper aspect when it restores to value, promotes and draws good from all the forms of evil existing in the world and in man” (Dives in Misericordia, 6).

The gaze of the merciful God on us sinners is always full of hope. He is the One who bends over us to bring out good, even when we – humanly speaking – cannot perceive this good (in ourselves or in other people). Only God can look at us to see beauty in us and lift us up from every weakness.

Think of people with whom you find it difficult for some reason. Can you see any glimmer of good in them?

Can you see the good in yourself? What specifically?

Ask the Merciful Jesus to teach you to look at yourself and others with His eyes full of mercy.

“O my Jesus, You know how much effort has to be put in to manage to be sincere and straightforward with those whom our nature shuns, or with those who have either deliberately or inadvertently made us suffer – it’s simply impossible in the ordinary, human way. At such times I try to do more than I would otherwise to discover Jesus in that person, and it’s for the sake of Jesus that I do everything for such people. There is pure love in such deeds; this sort of exercise in love strengthens the soul and makes it more resilient. I expect nothing from creatures, so I am never disappointed; I know that of itself a creature is poor, so what can you expect of it? For me God is everything; I want to assess everything in accordance with God” (Diary 766).

“Help me, O Lord, to make my eyes merciful, so that I should never be suspicious or judge by outward appearances, so that I should see what is beautiful in the souls of my neighbours and come to their assistance” (Diary 163).