The Father of Mercies

In the sacramental words of absolution within the Rite of Confession in the Catholic tradition, we use the following title for God: the Father of Mercies.

Yes, yes, yes!

There is for all of us a forgiving place,

Which mind alone can scarce conceive.

This good news for human brokenness?

Behold – God, the Father of Mercies.


Father of Mercies – what better title,

What more apt and bold description?

If our hearts weren’t so dulled by sin,

We would thrill at this sign of salvation.


Mercy, that sacred balm, our only hope;

The very stuff of salvation’s blueprint.

Gone beyond the point of no return, we

Utterly depend on it for life’s fulfilment.


No man alive, nor who ever lived, could

Take one breath without His constant care.

Our very existence is proof of that source:

An unbreakable covenant for all to share.


No matter what depths we have plumbed,

Nor how delinquent our hearts may seem,

There is no sin beyond His mercy’s reach,

And nothing human that He cannot redeem.


Oh happy fault! That invoked such mercy!

This greatest father, giddy with love for us!

Utterly biased in our favour, off the fence,

His own Son given – nothing more generous.


I know my salvation’s name, and knowing,

Can even now taste redemption’s reprieve.

Sin can never hold me and death is a fraud:

For I rely on God, the Father of Mercies.