310. We cannot forget that "mercy is not only the working of the Father; it becomes a criterion for knowing who his true children are. In a word, we are called to show mercy because mercy was first shown to us".360 This is not sheer romanticism or a lukewarm response to God's love, which always seeks what is best for us, for "mercy is the very foundation of the Church's life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness which she shows to believers; nothing in her preaching and her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy".361 It is true that at times "we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems".362
360 Ibid., 5: 402.
361 Ibid., 9: 405.
362 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 47: AAS 105 (2013), 1040.
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