Sunday 5 September 2021

The Joy Of Mercy - Pope Francis - CTS Year of Mercy

The Joy Of Mercy
Year of Mercy
Pope Francis
ISBN 9781784691295
CTS Booklet Do924

This is the eighth and I believe final book in the CTS Year of Mercy series for me to read. I picked all the eBooks of 6 up as soon as I finished the first one. Then I tracked down this and Rich in Mercy by Pope John Paul II that are both only available in physical booklets. Over the last several years, I have read over 200 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series, and many authors. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. But other than Living Fruitfully I believe this is the opnly series I have completed. The description of the booklet is:

“‘Turning our gaze to God, merciful Father, and to our brothers and sisters in need of mercy, means focusing our attention on the essential contents of the Gospel: Jesus, Mercy made flesh, who renders the great mystery of the Trinitarian Love of God visible to our eyes.’

Pope Francis has made mercy a central theme of his pontificate, and in these reflections seeks to explore more deeply God’s mercy and his love for the world. He explores the meaning of mercy from Genesis to the Resurrection and beyond, to the role of God’s people in carrying out works of mercy, asking how we can live mercy, experience it and act as witnesses to God’s mercy in our lives.”

This volume is drawn from 38 of Pope Francis’s weekly audiences given between Wednesday December 9th 2015 and Wednesday November 16th 2016. But not all of the audiences. Some were for specific other events, World Day of Prayer or World Youth Day. But a few were on Mercy and did not make this collection. Seven of them in fact, they were:

Mercy and Commitment – February 20th
Mercy and Almsgiving – April 9th
Mercy Like Piety – May 14th
Prayer as a Source of Mercy – May 25th
Mercy and Redemption – September 10th
Mercy and Dialogue – October 22nd
Mercy and Inclusion November 12th

But even with those omitted passages this book was an excellent volume to read. I highlighted many passages my first read through. And though extensive they are below. 

“The Church is in need of this extraordinary occasion. I am not saying: this extraordinary occasion is good for the Church. I am saying: the Church needs this extraordinary occasion. In this era of profound changes, the Church is called to offer her particular contribution, rendering visible the signs of the presence and closeness of God. The Jubilee is a favourable time for all of us, because by contemplating Divine Mercy, which overcomes all human limitations and shines in the darkness of sin, we are able to become more certain and effective witnesses.”

“The Holy Year, therefore, has begun in the entire Church and is being celebrated in every diocese as in Rome. Also, the first Holy Door was opened in the very heart of Africa. Rome, of course, is the visible sign of universal communion. May this ecclesial communion become ever more intense, so that the Church may be the living sign of the Father’s love and mercy in the world.”

“Loving and forgiving as God loves and forgives. This is a programme of life that can know no interruptions or exceptions, but it pushes us always to go farther without ever tiring, with the certainty of being sustained by the paternal presence of God.”

“Another important sign of the Jubilee is confession. Approaching the Sacrament by which we reconcile ourselves with God is equal to directly experiencing his mercy. It is finding the Father who forgives: God forgives everything. God understands us even in our limitations, and he even understands us in our contradictions.”

“Faithfulness in mercy is the very being of God. For this reason God is totally and always trustworthy. A solid and steadfast presence. This is the assurance of our faith.”

“The God of mercy responds and takes care of the poor, of those who cry out in desperation. God listens and intervenes in order to save, raising men able to hear the groan of suffering and to work in favour of the oppressed.”

“So we become thus for God, by accepting his covenant and letting ourselves be saved by him. The Lord’s mercy renders man precious, like a personal treasure that belongs to him, which he safeguards and with which he is well pleased.”

“As Christians, we are called to be missionaries of the Gospel. When we receive good news, or when we experience beautiful moments, we naturally seek to share them with others. We feel inside that we cannot hold back the joy that we have been given; and we want to spread it. The joy that stirs within is such that it drives us to share it.”

“We are all “Christophers”. What does that mean? “Bearers of Christ”. It is the name of our attitude, the attitude of a bearer of the joy of Christ, of the mercy of Christ. Every Christian is a “Christopher”, that is, a bearer of Christ!”

“His is precisely the heart of the father whom we want to encounter when we go to the confessional. Perhaps he will say something to help us better understand our sin, but we all go to find a father who helps us to change our lives; a father who gives us the strength to go on; a father who forgives us in the name of God. That is why being a confessor is such an important responsibility, because that son, that daughter who comes to you is only looking for a father. And you, priest in the confessional, you are there in the place of the Father who does justice with his mercy.”

“This is not a story of former times, it is also a story of today, of the powerful who, in order to have more money, exploit the poor, exploit people. It is the story of the trafficking of people, of slave labour, of poor people who work “under the table” and for a minimal wage, thus enriching the powerful. It is the story of corrupt politicians who want more and more! This is why I said that it would be good for us to read St Ambrose’s book about Naboth, because this text is relevant to modern day.”

“This is what God does! He comes to meet us so that we may allow him, our God, to love us.”

“A parent’s mission to educate aims to raise children in freedom, teaching them how to be responsible, able to do good things for themselves and for others. But, because of sin, freedom becomes the pretext of autonomy, the pretext of pride, and pride leads to opposition and the illusion of self-sufficiency.”

“And with the washing of feet the Lord teaches us to be servants, and more: to serve as he has served us, each and every one of us.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, being merciful like the Father means following Jesus on the path of service.”

“The Sacrament of Reconciliation makes present to each one of us that power of forgiveness that flows from the Cross and renews in our life the grace of mercy that Jesus purchased for us! We must not be afraid of our defects: we each have our own. The power of the love of the Crucified One knows no bounds and never runs dry. This mercy wipes away our defects.”

“The lesson that Jesus wants us to learn is, rather, that not a single one of us can be lost. The Lord cannot accept the fact that a single person can be lost. God’s action is that of one who goes out seeking his lost children and then rejoices and celebrates with everyone at their recovery.”

“We should reflect on this parable often, for in the Christian community there is always someone who is missing and if that person is gone, a place is left empty.”

““Do whatever he tells you!”. To serve the Lord means to listen and to put into practice his Word. It is the simple but essential recommendation of the Mother of Jesus and it is the programme of life of the Christian.”

“Jesus also passes by in your Life; and when Jesus passes by, and I realize it, it is an invitation to draw near to him, to be better, to be a better Christian, to follow Jesus.”

“Mercy is a journey that starts in the heart and ends in the hands, namely in the works of mercy.”

“Teaching to look to the essential is a crucial help, especially in a time such as ours which seems to have lost its bearings and pursues short-lived satisfaction. Teaching to discover what the Lord wants from us and how we can correspond means setting out on the path to grow in our own vocation, the path of true joy.”

This book was a good book to work through, and a fitting conclusion to my reading through the CTS Year of Mercy series. As stated in other reviews in the series, the Year of Mercy may be behind us, but these books will benefit those who read them. Will have an impact on the family, friends, and communities of those who read these booklets and strive to live more mercy. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Year of Mercy Books:

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