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Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life



 
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"Jesus was accusingly asked by what authority he could forgive sins. As a matter of fact, his opponents were right when they objected that only God could forgive (Mark 2:5-7). As human beings, we can help another to live with his or her guilt. But we cannot forgive it. Forgiveness is a creative new beginning that cannot be derived from the world. By forgiving and reconciling ourselves, we do 'something' that we cannot make happen, something that is rather inaccessible to us and must be bestowed upon us. In the gift of reconciliation, in which communal life in justice is granted to us anew, we are pointing to 'something' that is transcendent to us. In reconciliation, we bestow on the other 'something' that we don't 'have'; consciously or unconsciously, we are grasping after that which theologically is called grace and which scripture testifies is God's infinite mercy."

Walter Kasper is a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, having served as its president from 2001-2010.

ISBN 978-0-8901-0609-7 Hardcover. 2014.

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