"Grace" and "mercy" are words that most people are familiar with in a general sense. Through literature, movies and popular culture, we have formed vaguely religious ideas in our minds about the meanings of these words. When considering the religious significance of words, however, it's important to be careful and precise. The meaning of a word in a particular religion may be very different from its meaning in popular culture, and definitions of words can even vary among different religious traditions.
I have always found these two words very intriguing. The magnitude of these words has become more prominent today. Many people see mercy as interwoven with forgiveness. We live in a world where grace and mercy are sorely needed on many levels. We need to reach out to others and be willing to offer mercy.
Pope Francis has declared this year to be a Holy Year of Mercy! Let us follow Francis’ invitation and see mercy in all that we do.
Pat Schifini, OSU