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Sunday, October 20, 2019

     “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mt 5:7)

     The word “mercy” is so often mentioned in Byzantine church-services, particularly in the brief prayer, “Lord, have mercy” (Kyrie eleison). The Greek word for “mercy” (eleos) means much more than some external “withholding of punishment” (which is what we usually understand it to mean in English). It is a divine energy; that is to say, its source is God – so we constantly ask Him for it. In our terms it is an internal disposition; an overflowing of the heart with compassionate, self-giving love. So, when I ask God for “mercy,” I am asking not only to receive it, but to carry it further; to be a vessel of His “mercy” in this world.

     I often don’t notice the small opportunities I have, on a daily basi...

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