Monday, January 18, 2016


Soliloquy translation from "The Merchant of Venice" Act4 - Wm. Shakespeare:
The quality of mercy is not strained: it drops on to the world as the gentle rain does – from heaven. It’s doubly blessed. It blesses both the giver and the receiver. It’s most powerful when granted by those who hold power over others. It’s more important to a monarch than his crown. His sceptre shows the level of his temporal power – the symbol of awe and majesty in which lies the source of the dread and fear that kings command. But mercy is above that sceptered power. It’s enthroned in the hearts of kings. It is an attribute of God himself. And earthly power most closely resembles God’s power when justice is guided by mercy. Therefore , although justice is your aim, think about this: none of us would be saved if we depended on justice alone. We pray for mercy and, in seeking it ourselves, we learn to be merciful.

What is MERCY?  We need to delve a bit deeper into the etymology of this word to understand its full meaning. There are several Hebrew words that are associated with God's mercy:

Kapporeth – means "ransom," "propitiatory," or "the mercy seat."
Racham – means "to love," "to have compassion," or "to show mercy."
Hesed – means "goodness," "kindness," "mercifulness," or "loving-kindness. Hesed is one of my favorite Hebrew words, as it denotes the Convenant between God and His people.  From this comes the Latin translation by St. Jerome, misericordia, from whence we get the word piety.  So often people misconstrue piety as some sort of sweet pious nonsense, when in actuality it has a much richer meaning, one we all need to pray for. 

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