Ethical studies around charity and compassion are what interest me most at this time. I hope to do a lot of reading and research on this topic in the coming months and share what I learn here on the blog. I suppose this is really all about supporting the projects I am working on here in the Philippines and finding ways to help people and give without becoming either judgemental or overwhelmed.
Oprah Winfrey says “you can only give what you have” and I truly believe that learning to have more compassion and mercy is an important part of giving too.
“The Name of God is Mercy” captures the spirit of Pope Francis’s vision of the Church as a refuge for the downtrodden, the poor, and the marginalised; where all will be received with compassion and afforded mercy.
This a short book is divided into two sections. The first is an interview style discourse between Pope Francis and Andrea Tornielli which focuses on the Pope’s intention for proclaiming 2015 a Holy Year of Mercy. The second part of the book (an appendix) is a reproduction of the ‘Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy’. In other words a document issued by the Pope outlining his vision, requirements and expectations of the church during the Holy Year of Mercy.
It was wonderful to read this book. The ultimate theme: next time we find ourselves judging another, show a little mercy. It’s a book for anyone wanting to live their life with more compassion and empathy. If you are a christian, the Pope provides an easily understood analysis of biblical doctrine and a definitive guideline. For observers of other religions or atheists and agnostics with an interest in ethics, the book can be used to explore another argument for exercising more charity and compassion in our everyday lives.
It is comforting to know that global church leaders are moving their institutions away from being centres of strict judgement and punishment into open, compassionate bodies that leave any judgements between God and the individual.