William Blake, The Agony in the Garden, circa 1799-1800
The Church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy "with loud cries” (Heb 5,7). These "loud cries" should be the mark of the Church of our times... cries that implore mercy according to the needs of man in the modern world... With this cry let us, like the sacred writers, call upon the God... who is faithful to Himself, to His fatherhood and His love. And, like the prophets, let us appeal to that love which has maternal characteristics and which, like a mother, follows each of her children, each lost sheep, even if they should number millions, even if in the world evil should prevail over goodness, even if contemporary humanity should deserve a new "flood" on account of its sins, as once the generation of Noah did.
Let us have recourse to that fatherly love revealed to us by Christ in His messianic mission, a love which reached its culmination in His cross, in His death and resurrection. Let us have recourse to God through Christ, mindful of the words of Mary's Magnificat, which proclaim mercy "from generation to generation." Let us implore God's mercy for the present generation... Let us offer up our petitions, directed by the faith, by the hope, and by the charity which Christ has planted in our hearts.
This attitude is likewise love of God, whom modern man has sometimes separated far from himself, made extraneous to himself, proclaiming in various ways that God is "superfluous." This is, therefore, love of God, the insulting rejection of whom by modern man we feel profoundly, and we are ready to cry out with Christ on the cross: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23,24). At the same time it is love of people, of all men and women without any exception or division: without difference of race, culture, language, or world outlook, without distinction between friends and enemies.
Bl. John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » § 15