Here are our top 10 favorite quotes about mercy from the past year. Here's wishing us all a merciful 2017!
Jesus 2016 is a refugee in a boat.
— Bishop Aegidius Zsifkovics of Eisenstadt, Austria, Dec. 25
My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal "more." Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, the joy that is born of God's love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy. To take the path of the "craziness" of our God, who teaches us to encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbors who feel abandoned. To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists. The God who asks us to devise an economy inspired by solidarity. In all the settings in which you find yourselves, God's love invites you bring the Good News, making of your own lives a gift to him and to others.
— Pope Francis at the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil, July 30
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
— Muhammad Ali, who died June 3
Of course, we know His heart is never closed to us, for God never tires of giving and forgiving. Yet, how are we to understand the apparent paradox of closing the very doors that symbolize God's eternal mercy? The answer is simple: It is time for us now to be God's mercy for others — the mercy we ourselves have received from God.
— Edward B. Scharfenberger, bishop of Albany, New York, on the closing of Holy Doors to signify the end of the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.
[Talking to Klansmen] has worked for me and I've proven it. I appeal to people's common sense. I don't seek to convert them, but if they spend time with me, they can't hate me. [The Klansman] sees that I want the same thing for my family as he does for his. ... If you can work on the things in common, that's how you build friendship.
— Daryl Davis, a piano-playing bluesman who travels the United States attempting to dispel racism from those who hate him most. Daryl has collected more than two dozen Klan robes from those who have disavowed white supremacy (from the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8).
As we, ourselves, have been redeemed through God's mercy, let us generously share with our sisters and brothers what He has so generously given us. In this way, we will transform a Year of Mercy into a life of mercy.
— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the new president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
— Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and humanitarian, who died July 2
The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness. ... But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces. Obviously human life itself and everything it embraces includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home. As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a grateful contemplation of God's world which allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us. As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness and makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.
— Pope Francis, Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Each individual person has been created to love and to be loved. Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. ... Our work is only the expression of the love we have for God. We have to pour out love onto someone, and the people are the means of expressing our love for God.
— Saint Mother Teresa in Calcutta, who was canonized in August. This was one of many quotes of hers revealed in the book Praying with Mother Teresa, written by Susan Conroy and published by Marian Press this past year.
Please stop killing us. We need peace. I need peace to become a teacher.
— Bana Alabed, 7, who became internationally renowned for tweeting about life in war-torn Syria. Fierce bombardment left her home and neighborhood in East Aleppo in ruins.