Place and time of mercy: between promise and forgiveness


  • Stephan Kampowski Pontificio Istituto Giovanni Paolo II per Studi su Matrimonio e Famiglia, Roma



Referring to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and analyzing the biblical passages of the prodigal son and of Joseph and his brothers, the essay aims to show that it is necessary to understand mercy within a covenant relationship. The covenant is established by an original promise, while the misery from which mercy lifts us is precisely this: having come out of the covenant, having lost the promise. Mercy gives us time to rediscover the promise. Time is part of mercy. Mercy asks: how to generate in the other an excellent action that allows him to accept the covenant again? It is not enough to remove the guilt, it is necessary to regenerate the other to a new action: this is the purpose of mercy.





Forgiveness and conversion