St Vincent Pallotti – On the obligation to become perfect, since we are living images of Infinite Mercy


A characteristic of Saint Vincent Pallotti’s spiritual life was his abiding experience of God as Mercy, Infinite Mercy, that God in his very essence is Mercy and continuously expressing that with humanity.
The following is a meditation taken from St. Vincent’s writing ‘Iddio Amore Infinito’ or, ‘God, the Infinite Love’, which is a series of 31 meditations on God’s infinite love interwoven with his infinite mercy. It was written in the spring of 1849. The meditations follow the same format, a reflection on an aspect of God’s love, a prayer composed by Vincent, and an offering, or oblation.


God, the Infinite Love, Meditation XVII
On the obligation to become perfect, since we are living images of Infinite Mercy.

Enlightened by holy faith, I will recall that my soul, being created by God in his image and likeness, is also a living image of his Mercy because God in his essence is eternal, infinite, immense, and incomprehensible Mercy, and everything he created followed his most beloved designs of Infinite Mercy.
I will clearly recall that this was done by God in order that the person, as a created being, and aided by his grace, must always use free will in order to practise all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. In doing so, the person can obtain mercy even after a live filled with sin, because our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5,7).
Oh, what a grace, oh, what a precious gift was bestowed on me by God in creating me like him, a living image of his mercy!
Therefore, by reason of creation I am obliged with the help of his grace, to always use my free will in perfecting myself in a worthy way because I am a living image of Mercy itself. In all my life I will busy myself in the practice of all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, according to my capability, state, position and condition, and with all the means at my disposal.
This way of life will make me always disposed and ready to receive from God newer, greater and numerous mercies. It will assure me the blessing that the divine judge will give the elect at the last judgement, in the valley of Josaphat.
Oh my God, infinite love, how ungrateful I have been. How I worked against your loving designs, especially against the design of your infinite mercy. Oh, how much negligence, oh how much resistance on my part.

But, through your infinite mercy help me to pray in this way:
My God, my Father, infinite love of my soul, eternal, infinite, incomprehensible and immense Mercy. You see that according to your design I am a living image of you. Yet, through my ingratitude and through my fault my soul is deformed. My soul is guilty because I have acted against its very nature which is a living image of your mercy.
Therefore, I deserve to be forsaken and I deserve all the pains of time and eternity. But you, infinite mercy, do you want me to believe that you will forsake me? Through your infinite mercy, through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, through the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of all the Angels and Saints, I firmly believe, rather I am certain, that you will grant me a quick and perfect forgiveness of all my sins and for my inexcusable ingratitude. You grant me the grace to be always occupied in the perfect practice of all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way, I will perfect my soul more and more so that after this life I will be a living image of your mercy in the glory of eternity.

Eternal Father, in union with the most sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I offer you the most precious Blood of the Immaculate Lamb, our divine Redeemer, in thanksgiving, as if you had already granted all the graces I have requested for me and for all persons, now and always.

OOCC XIII, pages 103-106.