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“The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos. This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words for 'Lord, have mercy,' are 'Kyrie, eleison' that is to say, 'Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal a very Western interpretation but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children!” (Father Anthony M. Coniaris)

“…the ability to comfort others is directly acquired through our own experience of needing comfort. In other words, the instinctual desire to pick up and soothe a crying baby was instilled in us when we were that crying baby and someone soothed us. It’s not surprising to see the adverse effects on emotional well-being and its long-term consequences on a person who was not shown love and compassion as a child, even through something as basic as being held and soothed when crying.” (Tina Oshaana)

“Sometimes we might be so disoriented from abusing worldly things that we might not recognize that we are using them to escape from, or soothe, life. This is where the next task comes into play—we need to be still. Sit in front of an icon. Stand before nature. Try to hear the Lord’s voice—“be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10/45:11 LXX). Stillness should not just be physical, but also—more importantly—mental.” (Melissa K. Tsongranis)

“To keep from being tossed about and blown adrift by various anxieties and frightening scenarios, I will need to stay rooted in Christ. It is prayer and the sacraments that soothe a tumultuous spirit with the glorious promise of the Resurrection. The more I pray and participate in the life of the Church, the more open I become to joy born not of comfort and ease but rather love and sacrifice. There is something so very healing about surrendering my fickle and temporal minded will to the eternal and perfect will of God, leaning into it, being upheld by it, finding rest in letting go of my own limited understanding.” (Molly Sabourin)

“…the Paralytic. He was stuck in the same spot for 38 years, inches away from his healing in the pool. When Christ confronted him about his situation, the man revealed why he had been there so long – he started making excuses…But Christ commands him to get up and walk! No soothing words of “I understand” or “Yes, it is a difficult life.” No empathetic counseling. No gradual encouragement. Just a command “Rise, take up your pallet and walk. And the man did just that. So, today you can be free from that which paralyzes you if you wake up to three realities. First, you must wake up to your true condition…Second, you must wake up from your self-delusion…Finally, you must wake up to the absolute necessity of obedience…Obedience is always easier after you’ve dropped the heavy illusions mentioned above. Obedience is always hindered by self-centeredness and excuses…What is waiting for you beyond your paralysis is truly amazing.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

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