I have been talking with two Catholics who are very confused on the two ideas of Judgment and Mercy.
The problem, again, is the inability to think in terms of objectivity.
As I wrote in the perfection series, the saints learn to be objective.
Objective thinking means, simply, standing back and looking at one's own sins. A person learns mercy through objectivity, not subjectivity.
St. Bernard, in The Steps of Humility and Pride, writes this.
"The Son of God, the Word and Wisdom of the Father, mercifully assumed to himself human reason, the first of our powers. He found it oppressed by the flesh, held captive by sin, blinded by ignorance, distracted by outward things. He raised it by his might, taught it by his wisdom, drew it to things interior. More wonderfully still, he delegated it his own power to Judge. To judge is the proper act of Truth and in this it shared when out of reverence for the Word to which it joined it became accuser, witness and judge against itself.
Humility had been born from the union of the Word with human reason. Then the Holy Spirit lovingly visited the second power, the will; he found it rotten with the infection of the flesh, but already judged by reason.
Gently he cleansed it, made it burn with affection, made it merciful until, like a skin made pliable with oil it would spread aborad the heavenly oil of love even to its enemies. The union of the Holy Spirit with the human will give birth to charity."
There is more which I shall highlight later. If one is not being objective with one's self and others, one is not pursuing holiness. As long as Catholics are stuck in the subjective, they cannot move into the levels of holiness demanded by God for salvation and in order to avoid purgatory.
We can judge, ourselves and objective actions. Not to do so shows a tendency to self-deceit.
Do not listen to sound bites or the media. Listen to the wisdom of the Church.
To be continued...