Mercy me: Betting on God’s mercy

When as a kid I had to do something I really hated, my dad would recommend that I “offer it up for the souls in purgatory.” Purgatory being the place, I learned, where our faithful departed worked off their sins in preparation for their reunion with the Almighty.

Dad kept these souls in mind, I’m sure, because he had a keen sense of his own sinfulness. He would call, “Say some prayers for me!” whenever one of his children went out the door to church. He refused to call the cops on kids who blew up cherry bombs in the underpass near our home, remembering his own childhood exploits all too vividly.

When I would spout off about someone’s misdeeds, he would say quietly, “Have a little compassion on the multitude.” Continue reading