The Holy Fathers on mercy

St John Chrysostom

Mercy has been given to us by God, as a Commandment of love; Truly good is the mercy, with which apparently you give away, but you actually collect in truth, because as the farmer gives the earth and later gathers seeds from it, thus the charity is seamingly given to others, but actually the one who gives really obtains. The grandeur of charity is not determined by the measure of money, but by the attitude one gives with… Generosity is not esteemed by the greatness of the gift, but by the greatness this gift has compared to the wealth of the benefactor. Mercy is the Queen of all virtues, and as the best advocate, quickly and successfully opens the heavens for the merciful.

Mercy is the mother of love, a cure for our trespasses, purification of the dirt in our souls, a ladder that leads to heaven, is binds the body of Christ.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Mercy is the greatest of all deeds, because with it we buy for a small price the Heavenly Kingdom, for small and temporary wealth we attain eternal glory.

The Wisdom of Sirach

As the burning flame is put out in water, so does the mercy relieve sins; Mercy remains in eternity

The mercy which comes from injustice is not a mercy, but rather a cruelty and inhumanity, because what is the purpose of having to undress someone in order to dress the other? The beginning of mercy should be the compassion. And God requires from us the following acts of mercy:

To feed the poor

To give water to the thirty

To dress the naked

To host strangers

To visit the diseased

To comfort the misfortunate

To help the prisoners

Acts of mercy are considered also the ones performed for the sake of the spiritual and moral education and progress of our neighbor. Mercy covers for many sins. It delivers from death.

St. Nectarius of Aegina 

The merciful does not shut his ears before the supplication of the poor, but rather rushes to help them. When he gives to the one in need, he does that with great love and compassion, and when he offers to the poor, his face is bright,  because his heart rejoices for the act of mercy, for having helped the poor. And the merciful is beloved by God and will be saved in the day of doom, because God loves the one who gives with joy.  The merciful gives charity in secret because his heart is guided by the love for the neighbor and not by the desire for glory. He doesn’t rejoice at the splendor and enjoyment, but at the chance for charity. Because he lives for the love of his neighbor and confesses his love for God through the love for his neighbor.

The merciful accepts the sad one, doesn’t turn his eyes from the one in need, nor hides his face from the poor, doesn’t abhor from lending a hand to the one who asks for it. He gives his bread to the hungry, gives water to the thirsty, covers the poor, clothes the undressed, helps the suffering, visits the prisoners, and hosts the strangers. Gives abundantly, placing all his hopes in God, and in such way attains treasure in heaven. The merciful is like a fertile olive in the Garden of God, never gives up his hope in God, but rather is flourishes to him all the time, so he resembles a forever blooming tree and being zealous for his great fruitfulness, he abundantly gives charity to everyone and in every time. Blessed is the merciful, for he would inherit the Heavenly Kingdom, prepared for us from the beginning of time. God tells the merciful: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Mathew 25,34).