I am indebted to Sr. Diana, who sent me this wonderful quote. She is uncertain of its source, but thinks it may have come from a book entitled Orthodox Worship. I loved it so muc I wanted to share it with all of you in a separate post.
Love and prayers,
"The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos. This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words for 'Lord, have mercy,' are 'Kyrie, eleison' - that is to say, "Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal -- a very Western interpretation - but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children! It is in this sense that we pray 'Lord, have mercy,' with great frequency throughout the Divine Liturgy."
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