The Collect for this Sunday struck me in a particular way. It very much speaks to my heart as I am bowed down by my sins and conscience.
O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness,
who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving
have shown us a remedy for sin,
look graciously on this confession of our lowliness,
that we, who are bowed down by our conscience,
may always be lifted up by your mercy.
Contra Kasper, mercy is not simply given nor is repentance alone sufficient for it. There is a command which God gives when He gives His mercy: “Go and sin no more.” Mercy and persevering in the life in Christ (and, therefore, not falling into sin) always go together; they are two sides of the same coin. If Kasper and his supporters desire true mercy they must remember this. For the divorced and civilly remarried (just like anyone else) it is not enough to go through a period of penance and then continue on your life of sin. Mercy calls us to conversion, not just an intellectual conversion but one of the heart. It means radically turning around (or rather turning back to God) in the living of our lives. Ultimately, this means the Cross. If we wish to know true mercy and a life lived in the mercy of God we need only look to the saints, in particular St. Mary Magdalen.
God is merciful. He is the fount of all mercy and goodness. And He says to me, “Go and sin no more.” I pray, Lord, through the intercession of St. Mary Magdalen that being bowed down You may bring me to the Cross and there be lifted up.