Posted by: Ken A Locke | November 18, 2008

Los Misericordiosos

Yeah, it’s Spanish.  It means a combination of compassionate, merciful, charitable, grace-ful (as in full of grace), humane, even pious.  But all those words in English don’t reach me.  All of those words, to me, have other stuff associated with them.  Like Compassion International, charitable giving as a tax deduction, graceful swans or ballet dancers or “Days of Grace”, by Arthur Ashe.  Whatever king’s nickname was The Merciful, as in Ashot III the Merciful, King of Armenia.  The Humane Society.  Pious as in “holier than thou”.

The deal with hearing God in a foreign language is that all our cultural baggage is swept away, flicked off, denuded.  Music counts as a foreign language, by the way.  God, maybe the Holy Spirit, reaches us in a cleaner way because we are not distracted.  We use a different part of our brains to process foreign languages and music, so we have a chance to be affected.  It is too easy to stay insulated when we are totally in our comfort zone.  We’ve got to look PAST ourselves, SEE the miserable, and FIND A WAY to comfort them.

The Latin roots of misericordia are this:  miseri-wretched and cordia – heart.  I see that as literally having one heart with the wretched of this world.  To FEEL what THEY feel, and to suffer like they suffer.  Misericordia is to compassion/mercy as misericordioso is to compassionate/merciful. 

It means not walking by the kid getting made fun of.  It means defending a friend’s reputation when you hear someone bagging on them.  It means being NICE to that irritating kid (friend or not) who keeps bugging you about, well, anything.  It means patience when you really just want to scream. 

Treating your brother or sister as a special person, not an annoying pest.

Jesus begs us to be los Misericordiosos.


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