By Sean Ryan - 24 January, 2016
Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick recently launched a new book on mercy, which examines the subject through a careful reading of Scripture and by exploring literary classics and popular culture.
‘The Message of Mercy’ is the work of Amalee Meehan, a lecturer in the Masters programme in Christian Leadership in Education at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. It is published by Veritas.
Speaking at the launch in Mary Immaculate College, Bishop Leahy said that the book contains “many fine references to literature, music and culture in general”.
He said it was “Written with an enviably light touch” and “gently guides us through deep, uplifting and challenging thoughts on mercy”.
Dr Leahy explained that the book “starts with ourselves, then brings us to consider mercy and the family, mercy and the community but then also expands us to look at mercy in the wider world”.
His words were echoed by Professor Fr Michael Hayes who said, “The Message of Mercy calls on its readers to question their own understanding of mercy – towards both themselves and others – and in so doing foster a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with God.”
He added, “In this, the Extraordinary Year of Mercy ‘The Message of Mercy’ explores relevant Scripture passages and revealing extracts from literary classics and pertinent examples from popular culture which will capture the hearts and minds of believers and non-believers alike.”
“The Message of Mercy calls on its readers to question their own understanding of mercy – towards both themselves and others – and in so doing foster a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with God.”
Speaking about the book’s contents, Fr Hayes said, “Amalee cites Walter Kasper’s important work on ‘Mercy – The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life’, a book that has been referred to by Pope Francis: ‘this book has done me so much good’.”
“She describes that book as “heavy lifting”, and so it is!”
“However, [Cardinal] Kasper offers three important insights into an understanding of mercy that will bring forth the image of God as the good and merciful father: justice, holiness, and the development of an image of a sympathetic God.”
He added that ‘The Message of Mercy’ is a wonderful articulation of Cardinal Kasper’s third insight: the development of an image of a sympathetic God and it does so through a reflection on scripture, literature, popular culture and the insight of a mother.
The ‘Message of Mercy’ which is published by Veritas retails at €12.99.