mercy

Photo by Juliana Muncinelli at flickr.com
‘The cross of Christ is a sign of God’s willingness to forgive us’, writes Russell Pollitt SJ as he concludes our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy in Laudato si’.  As we contemplate our own sinfulness and the ultimate example of forgiveness in these days of Holy Week, we follow Pope Francis in viewing the ecological crisis ‘as a summons to profound interior conversion’, and recognise that true conversion involves sharing God’s mercy with...
Photograph of finger pointing at camera
Laudato si’ is a model of an Ignatian approach to sinfulness, an approach that is at the heart of Francis’ papacy, says Edel McClean as she reflects on how the encyclical helps us to think about our next Spiritual Work of Mercy: to admonish the sinner. Ignatius and Pope Francis ‘encourage us to look our personal sin in the eye, but we only take this step when we have a deep understanding of God’s creative and transformative love for us.’ Speaking to the...
Photograph of hands cradling a candle
‘The great parable of God’s mercy is the best place to start’ if we want to think about why praying for the living and the dead is merciful, says Richard Leonard SJ. In the latest article in our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy in Laudato si’, we see how the encyclical calls us to realise that the moments and choices of our everyday lives matter, to us and to God. The seventh spiritual work of mercy is to pray for the living and the dead. Not long ago...
Inscription in the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris
‘O if we but knew what we do’, wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins as he despaired over the way in which he saw the natural world suffer at the hands of humankind. This attentiveness to and solidarity with the suffering of a fragile planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants is a Spiritual Work of Mercy, writes Teresa White FCJ: comforting the afflicted is at the very core of what it means to be merciful. Recently, a friend of mine spent a few days in Paris, and on her return she told...
‘The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity’, writes Pope Francis in Laudato si’. When we struggle to show this patience, particularly in the face of what we perceive to be wrongdoing, we should look to the resilience of the natural world for encouragement and instruction in this particular work of mercy, says Henry Longbottom SJ. The Marsh...
Pope Francis's book is a spiritual inspiration to both Christians and non-Christians
The Name of God is Mercy – Pope Francis’s first official book – is published today. In celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, he addresses all humanity in an intimate and personal conversation with Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli.At the centre of the book is the subject closest to his heart—mercy. This has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy. Francis explains—through memories from his youth and moving anecdotes from his experiences as a...
The Good Samaritan
‘This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one.’ So wrote Pope Francis in a letter in which he stated his intention to allow all priests to grant absolution for abortion, and to validate absolutions granted by priests of the Society of St Pius X, during the Jubilee Year. Both such decisions registered as ‘scandalous’ in some quarters – but mercy is scandalous, says James Keenan SJ, precisely because it excludes no one. How and why has the Church practised this mercy...

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