O God, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace; that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity from Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘Today’s Collect begins with a wonderful thought. God does not chiefly show His almighty power by the great and marvellous things that He does, but by His mercy and and pity towards us, whom He has created, and who have sinned so badly and so often. He desires above all things that we should be free from every taint and influence of sin. It is more wonderful to think of God forgiving the sinner than performing marvellous works. The chief way in which He declares His almighty power is by showing mercy and pity.
...We sometimes think that pity means being sorry for someone and saying so. That is not what God’s pity means. It goes with mercy, and means that God not only sympathises with us, but actually does something to relieve our suffering and sin. He shows mercy. The Publican in [the] Gospel shows how God's pity works. He prayed “God be merciful to me a sinner”. After his prayer he felt different. Jesus said, “He went down to his house justified rather than the other”. He felt in his heart God's mercy and pity. He felt God's pity, and so he was sure of His mercy’.
from Teaching the Collects, 1965, by H.E. Sheen
Fr Lee Kenyon