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Communicating in a merciful way
It is the distinctive quality of God's treatment towards his people.

Mercy is the divine quality that gives the person the disposition of mind to sympathize with the sufferings of others.


Author: P. Jorge E. Mujica, LC | | Source: In Form Magazine/ Information and Humanist Culture No. 54/may 2016



It is the distinctive quality of God's treatment towards his people. 
Communicating in a merciful way 

It is the divine quality that gives the person the disposition of mind to sympathize with the sufferings of others. 
By: P. Jorge E. Mujica, LC | 
Source: In Form Magazine/ Information and Humanist Culture No. 54/may 2016

Mercy is foremost a concept of Judeo-Christian roots. In its deepest expression, it appears as the distinctive quality of God's dispensed treatment towards his people especially – although not exclusively – in the block of Holy books known as prophetic. The context in which mercy is given as an experience to the chosen people is no other than that of infidelity. God has chosen His people, He has liberated them, He has established an alliance with them, He has kept His fidelity and, nevertheless, the other part of the covenant betrays Him. The field in which that betrayal is inserted is marriage: God who has committed himself to his wife and the wife who has been unfaithful to Him. 

The dramatic part of this infidelity to the Alliance translates into adultery and even prostitution on the wife’s part. It is precisely here where mercy overlaps to the degree of even going out to the encounter of the one who does not deserve it: because His love is greater than the sin of His wife, God forgives and goes to seek His people from who He only expects an attitude of regret.

With time, this divine quality passed to the scopes of social relations understood as the disposition of encouragement by which people are inclined to sympathize with the suffering of others. 



Being in its original meaning, and its profane derivation, how is mercy communicated? Or even more, what does it mean to communicate in a merciful way? The questions are not idlers questions in view of that, on the one hand, in recent years mercy has been placed at the center of the act and the living of the Church and, on the other, communication is a constituent part of man. Or in other words, everything that man makes communicates. Man is a relational being and therefore his acts imply communication, being love the highest form of communication; how can we reflect or perceive it as authentic communication, as credible? Naturally by its correspondence with the truth but contrary to isolation, to selfishness, to absorption. Every act as human communication implies is an output, an exit that leads to the other and the other perceives, thanks and corresponds to create a virtuous circle.

The Church has had at the center of its preaching of love "the neighbor." The category "neighbor" is already inclusive, potentially encompassing every human subject. But that generality is not diluted in the anonymous mass but the closest neighbor. Goes from idea to work in the gestures, words, and silences with which we welcome all those who are different from us. It points to the incarnation of the abstract doctrine that otherwise risks losing itself in nominalism. 

Being open to others, communication must create bridges and not walls. These bridges are built with the bricks of words and the cement of gestures. And as communicating is also listening (otherwise it would be a monologue), communication becomes comprehension and even forgiveness; quite the opposite of antagonism, hostility, and excommunication. 

If everything that we have referred here is valid for relations between people, it is also valid at a broader level where people interact: the world of diplomacy. In that context, the relations of superiority hinder the relation not only of a specific person but of a whole society with another.

A forum where fully human communication happens today is social networks. That is where millions of people prolong their citizenship with everything that being a citizen entails. 

One of those consequences is the responsibility for the other: to contribute to good, free and solidary proximity. In this way, we can speak in a very concrete way of how mercy is "materialized": the specific common good provided by those who inhabit the social networks is the proximity. Communicating in a merciful way supposes the "encounter", the closeness sublimated in encounter.

In the prophetic books of the Old Testament that encounter was the prelude to the departure of God to who not deserved proximity because of his offense and refusal to ask for forgiveness. Precisely that coming out, the love as a communicative act of God, was a way of preparing and predisposing the encounter that, on the other hand, moved to conversion.

 






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