- Author: Pope Francis
- Loyola Press
- 200 pp.
- ISBN: 0829441700
The Church of Mercy is the latest book with a compilation of talks given by Pope Francis. Each book (by many different publishers) have chosen to address a certain audience. For example, Ignatius Press recently released a book on sin and humility, and Our Sunday Visitor has released one on hope and another on love. Loyola Press has chosen to focus on the theme of mercy. Drawing on talks given in 2013, this book addresses topics such as the Gospel, the Poor, advice for Pastors, and Mary. Each talk is designed to draw people closer to Christ who is the giver of mercy.
The parts which spoke to me the most were Part Two: A Poor Church for the Poor and Part Seven: The Choice of the Last. In these chapters, we see the heart of Pope Francis' papacy so far, the marginalized of society. He says, “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.” He also says, “The Church must step outside of herself. To go where? To the outskirts of existence, whatever that may be, but she must step out.” These are just a sample of the depth of wisdom and love that Pope Francis contains.
If you're looking for an idea of what Pope Francis had to say his first year as pope, this is a very good starting place. Though you could find these talks online (if you looked hard enough), they would not be so neatly assembled and categorized all in one place. Another perk for this book is that you don't have to read it in order. Pick a topic that is interesting to you or speaks to you and read that. Then, move on to the next topic that speaks to you. Then, after you get done with this book turn to a practical layperson's guide on mercy entitled Mercy in the City.