Mercy Receives with Fr. Logan Parrish

Mar 21, 2024

“Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful.”

Luke 6:36

Woman with outstretched arms on a mountain peak facing snow covered mountaintops and clouds.

We pray, and then we add fasting, which increases the power of the prayer, and then we blast that prayer up to heaven by adding mercy to the mix. But whose mercy? My mercy? God’s mercy? Or is this another “both-and” as Fr. Logan likes to discuss? I bet you can guess the answer to that one.

St. Chrysologus says this about connecting fasting and prayer to mercy:

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. 

Wow—he is saying here that there can be no prayer and fasting without mercy. What exactly is mercy? St. Thomas Aquinas defines mercy as “the compassion in our hearts for another person’s misery, a compassion which drives us to do what we can to help him.” It has the connotation of forgiveness, benevolence, and kindness. He calls it almsgiving: getting involved in the Church, giving our money, our time, our talent.

These are treasures that we squander in today’s culture because we think we are too busy. I like this definition – it makes sense that to get mercy, I need to give mercy. This puts me in a disposition to receive the desire or miracle that I am praying and fasting for.

If I am humble and show mercy to others, then the Lord will show me kindness as well. Otherwise, my heart will be hardened, and I may not be able to receive what He has to give me.

On this week’s podcast episode, we wrap up the 3-part series with Fr. Logan Parrish discussing the quote by St. Peter Chrysologus, “Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives.” Fr. Logan also shares some beautiful insights about the Triduum, as we enter into Holy Week.

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