Mercy and Firmness of Doctrine
In the Church we again meet with this same harmony between things most difficult to reconcile.
In her, charity most compassionate and doctrine most firm and uncompromising are united in one love, which is zeal for God's glory and the salvation of souls. She knows she can do no good without combating evil, that she cannot preach the Gospel without fighting heresy.
Mercy and firmness of doctrine can exist only when united; separated they die, and we have left but two corpses, namely, humanitarian Liberalism with its false serenity, and fanaticism with its false zeal.
It has been said: "The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle, because they do not believe, and intolerant in practice, because they do not love."
On the one hand, theory is opposed to practice; on the other, it penetrates and arranges all things with firmness and gentleness.
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, in: God, His Existence and Nature, Vol. II, 412, 1936
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