Last modified on 19 October 2014, at 16:14

Mercy

We do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. ~ William Shakespeare

Mercy is a quality involved in acts of alleviating suffering or distress, or in showing restraint towards those whom one has the power to punish or harm, whether justly or unjustly, often motivated by the emotion of pity.

See also: Mercy (1993) by J. M. DeMatteis

QuotesEdit

Who liveth alone longeth for mercy,
Maker's mercy. ~ The Wanderer
Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone. ~ Leonard Cohen
Any time any of us reaches out, any time we pour even a drop of love, compassion, simple human decency (no matter how small; how seemingly insignificant) into the sea of earthly existence — we are, each and every one of us — the being called Mercy. ~ J. M. DeMatteis
Reason to rule, mercy to forgive:
The first is law, the last prerogative. ~ John Dryden
I shall temper so
Justice with mercy. ~ John Milton
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.~ William Shakespeare
Let despair be known
as my ebb-tide; but let prayer
have its springs, too, brimming,
disarming him; discovering somewhere
among his fissures deposits of mercy
where trust may take root and grow. ~ R. S. Thomas
Alphabetized by author
  • Special mercy arouses more gratitude than universal mercy.
    • Richard Baxter, The Saints' Everlasting Rest (1650), "The Splendor of the Saints' Rest".
  • MERCY, n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.
  • Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
    They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.
    And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
    Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.
  • There is mercy in every place,
    And mercy, encouraging thought!
    Gives even affliction a grace
    And reconciles man to his lot.
  • Our rule is the works of mercy… It is the way of sacrifice, worship, a sense of reverence.
    • Dorothy Day, as quoted in The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History (1997)
    • Variant: [Practicing] the works of mercy ... is our program, our rule of life.
      • As quoted in The Catholic Worker after Dorothy : Practicing the Works of Mercy in a New Generation (2008) by Dan McKanan.
  • Mercy listens — really listens, with interest and concern — then smiles, and reaches out her hand.
  • Oh, Mercy — now I understand: The secret behind your actions, the thread that binds all these seemingly random events. … There's no great or small! No question of size or importance! Each act of compassion — however minor it may appear to our blind eyes — affects all Creation; shakes it to its roots!
  • I understand the most profound and simplest Truth of all: Any time any of us reaches out, any time we pour even a drop of love, compassion, simple human decency (no matter how small; how seemingly insignificant) into the sea of earthly existence — we are, each and every one of us — the being called Mercy.
  • Reason to rule, mercy to forgive:
    The first is law, the last prerogative.
    • John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther (1687), Part I, l. 261-262.
  • Mercy is a working that cometh of the goodness of God, and it shall last in working all along, as sin is suffered to pursue rightful souls. And when sin hath no longer leave to pursue, then shall the working of mercy cease, and then shall all be brought to rightfulness and therein stand without end.
    And by His sufferance we fall; and in His blissful Love with His Might and His Wisdom we are kept; and by mercy and grace we are raised to manifold more joys.
  • We give our intent to love and meekness, by the working of mercy and grace we are made all fair and clean.
  • I am sure that no man asketh mercy and grace with true meaning, but if mercy and grace be first given to him.
  • The ground of mercy is love, and the working of mercy is our keeping in love. And this was shewed in such manner that I could not have perceived of the part of mercy but as it were alone in love; that is to say, as to my sight.
  • Mercy is a sweet gracious working in love, mingled with plenteous pity: for mercy worketh in keeping us, and mercy worketh turning to us all things to good. Mercy, by love, suffereth us to fail in measure and in as much as we fail, in so much we fall; and in as much as we fall, in so much we die: for it needs must be that we die in so much as we fail of the sight and feeling of God that is our life. Our failing is dreadful, our falling is shameful, and our dying is sorrowful: but in all this the sweet eye of pity and love is lifted never off us, nor the working of mercy ceaseth.
    For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace: which have two manners of working in one love.
  • When we, by the working of mercy and grace, be made meek and mild, we are fully safe; suddenly is the soul oned to God when it is truly peaced in itself: for in Him is found no wrath.
  • In this life mercy and forgiveness is our way and evermore leadeth us to grace. And by the tempest and the sorrow that we fall into on our part, we be often dead as to man’s doom in earth; but in the sight of God the soul that shall be saved was never dead, nor ever shall be.
  • And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
  • Teach me to feel another's woe,
    To right the fault I see;
    That mercy I to others show,
    That mercy show to me.
  • Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
  • The quality of mercy is not strain'd
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes
    ;
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown;
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
    But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
    It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
    It is an attribute to God himself;
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When mercy seasons justice.
  • Consider this,
    That in the course of justice none of us
    Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy
    ;
    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
    The deeds of mercy.
  • No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
    Not the king's crown nor the deputed sword,
    The marshal's truncheon nor the judge's robe,
    Become them with one half so good a grace
    As mercy does.
  • How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? Every kind of killing seems to me savage and I find no justification for it. I believe that the religion of the future will be based on vegetarianism. As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
    • Isaac Bashevis Singer, as quoted in Animal life in Jewish tradition: attitudes and relationships (1984) by Elijah Judah Schochet, p. 297
    • Variant :
    • How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?
      • As quoted in Judaism and Vegetarianism (2001) by Richard H. Schwartz, p. 178.
  • Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened.
    • Edith Stein, The Significance of Woman's Intrinsic Value in National Life (1928).
  • A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.
  • Let despair be known
    as my ebb-tide; but let prayer
    have its springs, too, brimming,
    disarming him; discovering somewhere
    among his fissures deposits of mercy
    where trust may take root and grow.
  • A severe mercy — the phrase haunted him: a mercy that was as severe as death, a death that was as merciful as love. For it had been death in love, not death of love. Love can die in many ways, most of them far more terrible than physical death; and if all natural love must die one way or another, Davy's death — he and she in love — was the death that hinted at springtime and rebirth. Sitting there on the rough wood of the bridge, he remembered his absolute knowing — something beyond faith or belief — in the moments after her death, in that suddenly empty room, that she still was. She had not ceased with that last light breath.
    She and he would meet again.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 509-10.
  • When all thy mercies, O my God,
    My rising soul surveys,
    Transported with the view I'm lost,
    In wonder, love and praise.
  • Have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Litany.
  • Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule.
  • And shut the gates of mercy on mankind.
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 17.
  • A sentinel angel sitting high in glory
    Heard this shrill wail ring out from Purgatory:
    "Have mercy, mighty angel, hear my story!"
  • Being all fashioned of the self-same dust,
    Let us be merciful as well as just.
  • The corn that makes the holy bread
    By which the soul of man is fed,
    The holy bread, the food unpriced,
    Thy everlasting mercy, Christ.
  • Mercy stood in the cloud, with eye that wept
    Essential love.
  • To hide the fault I see:
    That mercy I to others show,
    That mercy show to me.
  • 'Tis vain to flee; till gentle Mercy show
    Her better eye, the farther off we go,
    The swing of Justice deals the mightier blow.
  • Think not the good,
    The gentle deeds of mercy thou hast done,
    Shall die forgotten all; the poor, the prisoner,
    The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow,
    Who daily owe the bounty of thy hand,
    Shall cry to Heaven, and pull a blessing on thee.
  • Mortem misericors sæpe pro vita dabit.
    • Mercy often inflicts death.
    • Seneca, Troades, 329.
  • Whereto serves mercy,
    But to confront the visage of offence?
  • You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
    For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
    As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
  • Who will not mercie unto others show,
    How can he mercie ever hope to have?
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book VI, Canto I, Stanza 42.
  • Pulchrum est vitam donare minori.
    • It is noble to grant life to the vanquished.
    • Statius, Thebais, VI, 816.
  • Sweet Mercy! to the gates of Heaven
    This Minstrel lead, his sins forgiven;
    The rueful conflict, the heart riven
    With vain endeavour,
    And memory of earth's bitter leaven
    Effaced forever.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much humbled.
  • God loves our mercy to one another; but not upon conditions at variance with sanctity to Him.
  • Kind hearts are here; yet would the tenderest one
    Have limits to its mercy; God has none.
  • Who will not mercy unto others show,
    How can he mercy ever hope to have?

External linksEdit

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