proposed itself through the mere sight of it, through a first perception which can only bedescribed as community…. The visible ‘we’ was the first feature of the Church’s face that anobserver could have photographed…. Those who would gather under Solomon’s Porticowere the first sign. That emergent group of people presented themselves as people who,having the living presence of Christ among them, were the almost physiological continuity ofthat reality, bonded as they were to that living presence in the concreteness of daily, familylife.5.
Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars
From the Diary of St. Faustina:I want to love you as no human soul has ever loved you before; and although I am utterlymiserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into theabyss of your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing,but hope to sing you a hymn of glory for ever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fallprey to doubt; for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great isthe power of God’s grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God’s action.O Jesus, ifonly I could become like mist before your eyes, to cover the earth so that you would notsee its terrible crimes. Once, after an adoration for our country, a pain pierced my soul,and I began to pray in this way: “I beg you, Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears oflittle children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus, for the sake of these innocentones, grant me the grace that I am asking of you, for my country.” At that moment, I sawthe Lord Jesus, his eyes filled with tears, and he said to me, “You see, my daughter, whatgreat compassion I have for them. Know that it is they who uphold the world.”6.
Quotations from Pope Benedict XVI
“Risen, Jesus gave his disciples a new unity, stronger than before, invincible because it wasfounded not on human resources but on divine mercy, which made them all feel loved andforgiven by him. It is therefore God's merciful love that firmly unites the Church, today as inthe past, and makes humanity a single family; divine love which through the Crucified andRisen Jesus forgives us our sins and renews us from within.”
“Charity transcends justice and completes it in the logic of giving and forgiving.
is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater andmore fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charityalways manifests God's love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvificvalue to all commitment for justice in the world.”
“Even in the most difficult and complex times, besides recognizing what is happening, wemust above all else turn to God's love. Development requires attention to the spiritual life, aserious consideration of the experiences of trust in God, spiritual fellowship in Christ, relianceupon God's providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace. All this is essential if hearts of stone are to be transformed into hearts offlesh (
36:26), rendering life on earth divine and thus more worthy of humanity. All thisis
because man is the subject of his own existence; and at the same time it is
because God is at the beginning and end of all that is good, all that leads to salvation.”