God always has mercy on us unconditionally, because mercy is in his very nature, because mercy is his nature. Because God is Love, God is Mercy. However, a necessary condition from our side, which alone makes us capable of receiving the mercy God is always extending to us, is that we repent of all our wrongdoing and evil inclinations. Only conversion of heart in fact opens the heart so that the mercy of God can enter it and have its healing and life-giving effect there.
Without the change required of us by conversion of heart, all of our pleading for God’s mercy remains laziness and presumption. God's mercy is not cheap. Persistence in sin cannot but have dire consequences, though God’s nature as mercy remains unaltered throughout. Without conversion of heart, we remain deliberately shut off, barricaded within our ego, and so are simply not capable of embracing the mercy God gives. It falls to the ground, tragically wasted.
Let us, then, above all, pray incessantly for the grace of conversion of heart, since conversion is not a work of our own, a decision we make unilaterally, in utter isolation, but, truly, a work of grace.
Photograph by Father Emmanuel. Excerpts from a Meditation by Father Simeon.