I recently got some really good advice during Confession, that got me thinking. One of my (many) faults is my propensity to be uncharitable toward others, especially my impatience with their faults and my skepticism about their motives.
My confessor asked me to consider making myself like a sponge for God's mercy; as a sponge dipped in water will rapidly absorb a great deal of water, I should more fully open my own heart to His unending mercy so that I might more easily and readily use it in my relations with others. It was a very nice way to help me and I did some reflection on it (this was actually my penance, so I can't take credit for being a much of a philosopher).
Once a sponge is soaked in water, what then? A fully-loaded sponge is no good unless you use it for something; left sitting it will eventually dry up and become useless. So too with God's mercy if we don't apply it in our daily lives, as Father suggested to me. And the neat thing about a sponge is that the water in it can be discharged very quickly, or moderately as needed. And not to worry, because the dry sponge is readily replenished once again, for as long as we need. Finally, to complete the analogy: if God's mercy is the water for our sponge, then it comes from a bottomless bucket.
I invite you to meditate on this imagery. I hope it helps someone as it did me.