"When understood correctly, meekness and mercy are perfectly compatible. Even stronger, they're so intimately interwoven that they actually depend upon one another. A Christian cannot be genuinely meek without also acting mercifully; merciful action can only arise on a foundation of meekness. Notwithstanding their differences, the lion of mercy and the lamb of meekness are intended to lie peaceably with one another. The two are so seamlessly related, in fact, that we properly ought not to refer to them separately. Instead, we should think of them as comprising a single spiritual virtue: 'merciful meekness.'

"But what's the tie that binds them together? The secret lies in a passage from one of Paul's letters: 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom' (2 Cor. 3:17). The nature of spiritual gifts such as meekness and mercy is that they liberate us to be the sons and daughters of God we are. Freedom is the middle term that connects meekness and mercy. Meekness is the gift of freedom from the obstacles that stand in the way of our coming into personhood. Mercy is the gift of freedom to grow in that personhood and to enable others to do likewise. Meekness strikes off our shackles, mercy teaches us how to walk without them. When we practice merciful meekness, we enter into the heart of what it means to be a Christian: a gratefully free and self-givingly creative co-worker in God's great plan of salvation.”