Read Pope Francis' 20 Most Crucial Quotes on Repentance, Conversion, and Reconciliation from "Misericordia et Misera" – EpicPew

Read Pope Francis’ 20 Most Crucial Quotes on Repentance, Conversion, and Reconciliation from “Misericordia et Misera”

Pope Francis issued his apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera (“Mercy and Misery”) at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which lasted from December 8, 2015, to November 20, 2016. In the midst of the Year of Mercy, questions occasionally arose regarding the place of repentance, conversion, and reconciliation in the broader scheme of mercy. Below are twenty quotes from Misericordia et Misera in which the Holy Father addresses those crucial goals within the faith life of a disciple of Christ. In the liturgical epoch beyond the Year of Mercy, you are encouraged to read the apostolic letter, only thirteen pages long, in its entirety.


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1. “Jesus helps the woman [caught in adultery – see John 8:1-11] to look to the future with hope and to make a new start in life.” (paragraph 1)


2. “Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life.” (paragraph 2)


3. “Nothing of what a repentant sinner places before God’s mercy can be excluded from the embrace of his forgiveness.” (paragraph 2)


4. “Mercy is always a gratuitous act of our heavenly Father, an unconditional and unmerited act of love.” (paragraph 2)


5. “Mercy gives rise to joy, because our hearts are opened to the hope of a new life.” (paragraph 3)


6. “We need witnesses to hope and true joy if we are to dispel the illusions that promise quick and easy happiness through artificial paradises.” (paragraph 3)



7. “In the Church’s prayer, then, references to mercy, far from being merely exhortative, are highly performative, which is to say that as we invoke mercy with faith, it is granted to us, and as we confess it to be vital and real, it truly transforms us.” (paragraph 5)



8. “The Lord continues to speak to us today as to friends; he dwells in our midst, in order to accompany us and show us the path of life.” (paragraph 6)



9. “The personal experience of mercy is the best way to make it a true message of consolation and conversion in the pastoral ministry.” (paragraph 6)


10. “The celebration of mercy takes place in a very particular way in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.” (paragraph 8)



11. “God shows us the way to turn back to him and invites us to experience his closeness anew.” (paragraph 8)



12. “God places no obstacles in the way of those who seek him with a contrite heart, because he goes out to meet everyone like a father. I have received many testimonies of joy from those who encountered the Lord once more in the sacrament of Confession. Let us not miss the opportunity to live our faith also as an experience of reconciliation.” (paragraph 9)



13. “I invite priests once more to prepare carefully for the ministry of Confession, which is a true priestly mission. I thank all of you from the heart for your ministry, and I ask you to be welcoming to all, witnesses of fatherly tenderness whatever the gravity of the sin involved, attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the wrong they have done, clear in presenting moral principles, willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey, far-sighted in discerning individual cases, and generous in dispensing God’s forgiveness.” (paragraph 10)



14. “Paul’s words [in 1 Timothy 1:16], powerful as they are, make us reflect on our lives and see God’s mercy at work in changing, converting, and transforming our hearts.” (paragraph 11)



15. “No law or precept can prevent God from once more embracing the son who returns to him, admitting that he has done wrong but intending to start his life anew.” (paragraph 11)



16. “The Sacrament of Reconciliation must regain its central place in the Christian life.” (paragraph 11)



17. “There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.” (paragraph 12)



18. “The yearning of so many people to turn back to the house of the Father, who awaits their return, has also been awakened by heartfelt and generous testimonies to God’s tenderness.” (paragraph 16)


19. “It is the road of mercy, on which we meet so many of our brothers and sisters who reach out for someone to take their hand and become a companion on the way.” (paragraph 16)


20. “Once mercy has been truly experienced, it is impossible to turn back. It grows constantly and it changes our lives. It is an authentic new creation: it brings about a new heart, capable of loving to the full, and it purifies our eyes to perceive our needs.” (paragraph 16)


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