I don’t read religious books to often, but, I was interested in The Name of God is Mercy because I really like this Pope, and I wanted to hear what he had to say.
In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart—mercy—which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.
In this conversation with Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli, Francis explains—through memories from his youth and moving anecdotes from his experiences as a pastor—why “mercy is the first attribute of God.” God “does not want anyone to be lost. His mercy is infinitely greater than our sins,” he writes. As well, the Church cannot close the door on anyone, Francis asserts—on the contrary, its duty is to go out into the world to find its way into the consciousness of people so that they can assume responsibility for, and move away from, the bad things they have done.
The first Jesuit and the first South American to be elected Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has traveled around the world spreading God’s message of mercy to the largest crowds in papal history. Clear and profound, The Name of God Is Mercy resonates with this desire to reach all those who are looking for meaning in life, a road to peace and reconciliation, and the healing of physical and spiritual wounds. It is being published in more than eighty countries around the world.
“The name of God is mercy. There are no situations we cannot get out of, we are not condemned to sink into quicksand.”—Pope Francis
I am a Christian, but I’m Protestant, so I didn’t come to this book with a Catholic understanding, and thus there were a couple of things that I didn’t quite understand. For example, the Saints. I don’t quite understand their purpose because Protestants don’t have them, however, while that part I didn’t really understand the majority of the book I did, and it was really good.
As Pope Francis says mercy and forgiveness are two separate things. But without mercy God wouldn’t be God, and forgiveness wouldn’t really be possible. For this Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is reminding not only Christians on how to show mercy to their neighbours and society, but also Priests on how to show it as well.
There was some discussion in the book about the difference between mercy and justice, and why justice alone is not enough. We need mercy because we are all sinners. That thought is important to me because it reminds me that since God is showing me mercy than I have to show mercy to others as well. In other words – be kind. Always. Even when you’re tired, even when you’re upset, even when you’re rushing somewhere. Have mercy on the people you know and meet – be kind.
You can’t really have a better message than that.
I recommend this book to really anyone at all. The message the Pope has is a universal one, and we can all benefit from it.