Archives For Mercy


[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0399588639″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”226″]The ‘Medicine of Mercy’

A Review of 

The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli
Pope Francis

Translated from the Italian by Oonagh Stransky
Hardback: Random House, 2016.
Buy now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0399588639″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B017G7IVTG” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link]  ]

Reviewed by Roger Dowdy


We need mercy! We need healing! “We lack the actual concrete experience of mercy. The fragility of our era is this: we don’t believe that there is a chance for redemption. Today people try to find salvation wherever they can…..turning to many fallible things, seeking hope and compassion – someone who listens and cares. This is what I call the ‘apostolate of the ear’” – the ‘medicine of mercy’ (16-17).

Though I am not Roman Catholic, as an ordained Deacon I have been spiritually and missionally captivated by Pope Francis – his life story, his teaching and proclamation, and the vital public example of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. This humble ‘activist’, priest, cardinal, now Pope of the Church in Rome, embodies the essence of Jesus, the one who came to extend God’s mercy to all. Pope Francis is a magnification of prophet Micah’s directives for living according to God’s will [Micah 6: 6-8 CEB]: With what should I approach the Lord…God on high? [God] has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

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[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0829441700″ cloaking=”default” height=”333″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”222″ alt=”Book Giveaway” ]Our Latest Book Giveaway…

We’re giving away FIVE copies of the new book

The Church of Mercy:
A Vision for the Church

Pope Francis

Paperback: Loyola Press, 2014

Read our review of THE CHURCH OF MERCY


“What did we do to deserve such a man as Pope Francis? Every day the world drops its jaw in wonder at the work of art that is Jorge Mario Bergoglio.  Read this book, and see how he is doing it.”
–Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
“I can’t even tell you the sense of wonder and gratitude I am feeling reading The Church of Mercy. Every Christian in at least the western world should read this man…at least read enough to know what Christianity has come upon or been given or will be watching develop over the next few years. This man sees, and is of, the Kingdom of God.”
–Phyllis Tickle

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I read this beautiful poem at our church service at Englewood yesterday.

(Indianapolis folks: We will be hosting an event with Tania Runyan on this Thursday evening, May 22.  You won’t want to miss it!)


Blessed Are The Merciful
Tania Runyan

Amish schoolhouse shooting, Nickel Mines, PA



I didn’t trust their forgiveness.

Before the blood cooled on the schoolhouse floor
they held the killer’s widow in their arms,

raised money for his children,
lined his grave site with a row of patient horses.

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“A Vibrant Vision of the Kingdom

A review of
The Colors of Hope:
Becoming People of Mercy, Justice and Love.

by Richard Dahlstrom

Review by Alex Dye.

COLORS OF HOPE - DahlstromThe Colors of Hope:
Becoming People of Mercy, Justice and Love.

Richard Dahlstrom
Paperback: Baker Books, 2011.
Buy now:
[ Amazon – Paperback ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

Dahlstrom introduces the book by recalling a scene from the movie Schindler’s List, a movie shot almost entirely in black and white, in which a young girl shown wearing red stands out in stark contrast against her duo-tone compatriots, symbolizing her humanity amongst the animalism to which the Nazis subjected the Jews.  He continues in describing scenes from current day life which, in many senses could appear grey:  the daily drudgery of work and television and sleep and repeat which serves as a template for the majority of our lives.  He then continues in discussing how life can often appear grey, purposeless, and tainted by various evils existing throughout the world (slavery and starvation juxtaposed with wealth and affluence).  Amidst all of his discussion about the greyness of life, I couldn’t help but hearing the sweet voice of Dave Matthews crooning in my brain “Oh there’s a loneliness inside her, and she’d do anything to fill it in, but all the colors mix together, to gre-e-e-ey, and it breaks her heart…”  Lo, to my surprise, Dahlstrom proceeded to discuss several cultural statements made about the lack of color in the world, which included “Grey Street” by Dave Matthews and “Garden State” (one of my favorite movies). Yet, I still was not convinced that his metaphor of the world as a grey canvas in need of the paint of hope would not prove to be repetitive and overstated.

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A Review of

284772: Love Mercy: A Mother and Daughter"s Journey from The American Dream to The Kingdom of God Love Mercy:
A Mother and Daughter’s Journey
from The American Dream
to The Kingdom of God

By Lisa Samson & Ty Samson.
Paperback: Zondervan, 2010.

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Reviewed by Jeni Newswanger-Smith

A couple of years ago Lisa Samson and her daughter Ty took a trip to Swaziland.  Their lives had already changed greatly and they wanted to see firsthand what was happening in this devastated part of the world.  What they found was much struggle, illness, neglect and hunger.  They also found love, joy, devotion and stories of the lost being found.  In other words, they discovered the world.   Lisa and Ty have write about their experiences on this trip in the new book Love Mercy.

The book is delightful to read.  Lisa writes to her audience as if they are sitting down with her for a good cup of tea.  In the first half of the book, she chronicles her family’s journey from suburban individualism to inner-city community.  This journey was a difficult and challenging one, but Lisa writes about it with humor.

The second half of the book is co-authored with Ty.  They take turns telling about a second great journey—one to visit the churches in Swaziland.  They see children orphaned by AIDS, people dying from AIDS, children raising children—and people turning a blind eye.  They witnessed the last vestiges of apartheid that had seeped over the borders, which is heart-breaking and eye-opening for both women.

One of the remarkable parts of this book is that neither Lisa or Ty offer solutions to the problems in the world.  They acknowledge these problem,s tell us about their trip to learn more and ask all of us to join in the brainstorming for solutions and change.

Lisa uses the words “social justice” quite often in the book and while I know what she means, those words have become so weighted and misconstrued by some Christians, and may be off-putting for some potential readers. Lisa defines intentional community as “caring for each other to care for the other,” and this is the core of Christian social justice, as the Samsons’ book title expresses: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

For people just beginning to explore what social justice means, this book is a great place to start.  For people a little further on the journey, this book provides good reminder of why one started in the first place.