Inspired by today’s first reading from the Book of Daniel (Dn 9:4b-10), the psalm (Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13), and the Gospel reading from Luke (Lk 6:36-38) Br. Dominic quoted several lines from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
The lines he quoted, which follow, come when Portia speaks to Shylock, pleading that he refrain from extracting a pound of Antonio’s flesh in accordance to a contract they had made. Shylock ultimately refuses to heed Portia’s advice to let vengeance yield to mercy, but these are the famous and beautiful lines Portia speaks to try to convince him otherwise:
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.
How generous is our God! Mercy truly is an attribute of Him!
And too seldom a quality of us.