In 2013, when the Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a lot of people reasoned about what type of Pope he would be. Of course, so far the Pope has had a huge impact, with a vast number of Catholics across the globe clinging on his every word for spiritual direction in their lives.
Therefore, what type of God does Pope Francis have faith in?
As you’ll discover in this pool, it’s not a God of punishment; however, a God of love and – above all else – of mercy. From both personal experience and the scriptures, Pope Francis has learned that, for one to be merciful and to love others, regardless of their sins, is to be true to God.
Chapter 1 – God’s most significant quality is mercy.
“God” embraces several things, such as patience, benevolence, and omnipotence. But, there’s one word, that God embraces most: mercy.
God is usually required to make a decision between mercy or punishment, and he usually picks mercy. For instance, the book of Ephesians 4:26 says that “Do not allow the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26) meaning to forgo of our anger before the sun sets, in order for us to wake joyfully the following day without anger.
Many people have misunderstood this quote as teaching to hold onto your anger. That suits the understanding of God as merciless – very different from the notion of God as merciful.
What connects people to God is Mercy and not anger or hate. God’s mercy is the anchor that prevents people from spiraling into a life of sin. It reminds them that there is a meaning to life. God’s mercy enables people to bear in mind that they’ll be loved all the time and their efforts to live righteously aren’t futile.
Anytime people repent getting God’s love, they endeavor to make the world a better place and live better lives and. Faith in the mercy of God allows people to desire to assist others too. In the book of Psalm 145:7-9, it says, “He gives justice for the oppressed; he provides food to the hungry.”
Also, God says to us that he’ll answer us when asked, which prevents people from attempting to deal with problems on their own. Imperfect humans are certainly less merciful than God; therefore, significant issues should not be assigned to only them.
God’s ability to show mercy instead of cause damage is also an indication of his power. The same applied to humankind. This is the reason why God sent Jesus to be an illustration for humankind, in order for us to learn from a being created in our own form.
Chapter 2 – Jesus was the humankind sign of God’s mercy.
Mercy can be seen in all stories of Jesus.
Jesus mentioned that he didn’t come to Earth for the righteous ones; however, for the sinners. He didn’t come for the hale and hearty; however, he came for the sick. He showed mercy by concentrating his efforts on people who’d been rejected by the society, examples are the lepers.
Jesus addressed lepers with love rather than avoiding them or becoming scared of getting their disease. Therefore, he restored them, displaying that God never disregards anyone.
One time, when Jesus witnessed that a crowd had gone after him and his apostles to a meeting that was meant to be private, he canceled the meeting and provided counsel to the people. He understood they were lost sheep the required a shepherd. Caring for their comfort was more significant to him than abiding by his schedule.
Also, Jesus mentioned that we should forgive people not just seven times; however, seventy times seven times. Meaning all the time. He preached that people need to even show mercy when doing that was against the law, demonstrating where our priorities should be.
One time, when a woman was accused of adultery, Jesus reprimanded the men who wanted to punish her, saying that, “Let him that is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) Stoning was the punishment for adultery; however, Jesus preached to them that it was more significant to show mercy. This made them remembered that they, as well, were sinners and understood they didn’t wish to be stoned themselves.
Jesus had never for once sinned himself; therefore, he could have stoned the woman without being two-faced. Rather, he allowed her to confess her sins and he forgave her.
Jesus’s last act of mercy was Death. He gave himself up to redeem humans. Nowadays, the Church is accountable for following n his legacy by showing mercy to those cast out by society.
Chapter 3 – It’s the duty of the Church to continue God’s mercy.
The priests and bishops of the Church are responsible for carrying on the work of Jesus. They need to endeavor to behave in persona Christi, which means they have to behave with Jesus’s sensitivity and readiness to go where he was required.
God’s mercy spreads humanity through confessors and priests. One of Pope Francis’s previous parishioners was a prostitute. One time, she thanked him for usually referring to her as “Señora” because it made her realize that even if she sold her body and doesn’t have food or money, she was still loved and warranted respect.
Confessors and priests have to target to bring people in. If a confessor doesn’t do his work well, he can make people turn away from the Church.
Pope Francis was aware of another woman who stopped going to confession when she was just a teenager after her confessor questioned her “where she placed her hands any time she slept.” If people turn away from the Church just like how she did, they become more susceptible to sin and wander away from righteousness.
The Church needs to work like a hospital where everyone can come to heal their injuries. When people are physically or spiritually injured, they don’t usually have the power to seek the Church. Therefore, the Church needs to be present everywhere, not just in towns –however, in locations where people strive more, such as prisons.
If the Church is accessible to a prisoner, he’ll become stronger and carry on to form his relationship with God when he is released. As a matter of fact, to display his devotion to those who are struggling, regardless of where they ended up in life, Pope Francis used to go around with an olive branch created in a rehabilitation program for prisoners.
Society requires guidance from the Church just like how a child requires guidance from a parent. The Church needs to make itself present to people who require the most guidance and assistance.
Chapter 4 – God loves everybody just like a father.
The love of God is unconditional. He would never leave his children, regardless of their sins – just like how parents continuously have a love for their child.
There are numerous cases in the Bible where God is compared to a parent. For instance, in the book of Luke, when Jesus is extremely touched by human suffering, the Greek word used to refer to his feelings originates from a word denoting to a mother’s womb. Jesus’s reaction is just like that of a parent who is touched by the suffering of her child.
In the book of Ezekiel, Jerusalem is likened to a young girl abandoned to perish. God carries her and provides everything for her; still, she turns into a prostitute. In spite of this, God says to her, “You will remain to be the chosen people and your whole sins will be forgiven.”
Also, God’s mercy first gets to us through our parents. When children do something wrong, parents don’t criticize them. Rather, they attempt to direct them in a better way with patience.
Jesus says to the woman in the story of the adulteress that she should carry on without sinning; however, that she isn’t judged. He handles her just like how a parent would handle a child.
In the Eastern churches, a confessor greets a penitent by placing his stole over the penitent’s head and placing one arm around his shoulder. Just like how a parent’s touch calms a child, this act soothes the penitent and assist her to feel as though she won’t be condemned, fostering an open and true confession.
Some people have a hard time look for a source of parental love as they become older; however, there’s no boundary to God’s paternal love. Everyone can search for God’s love if they repent their sins and ask him for forgiveness. God is willing to forgive all the time.
Chapter 5 – We need to accept that all of us sinners.
For us to reap the maximum benefits of God’s mercy, we need to first to accept that we require his love and direction because we are all sinners.
All of us are sinners because of original sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they destined humanity to weakness and the failure to usually pick good over evil. All of us are likely to sin.
That doesn’t entail that we have to let ourselves fall into sin anytime we want to because God doesn’t like that. But, it’s worse to deny our real nature and believe it’s possible to live a life that is without sin. God is keen to forgive us since he knows that it is human nature to sin.
Pope Francis accepts that he’s a sinner himself. In 2015, when the Pope spoke to prisoners in Palmasola, Bolivia, he stated that “Standing before you is a man that has been forgiven for his numerous sins.”
As a matter of fact, a sinner that repents is more dear to God than a righteous man. According to (Luke 15:11-32), in the parable of the prodigal son Jesus talks of a father with two sons, the older of whom stays firmly by his side and the younger of whom leaves the house wastes his entire money and behaves selfishly. However, when the younger son comes back home, the father jubilates his return more than the older son’s loyalty. He says to the older son, “We needed to celebrate and be happy because this brother of yours was dead and is alive once again.” That is the miracle of repentance.
We can’t run from sin; however, we can endeavor to make the best decisions possible. Bear in mind that humankind has an innate inclination toward evil: we can’t escape sin; however, we can try to be righteous and repent.
Chapter 6 – We need to open to sin; however, not to corruption.
Corruption is one thing, and sin is another. Corruption is the act of persuading yourself as well as others that your sins are right. Corrupt people may put up a false display of Christianity to hide their sins in the expectations of lying not only to their friends but God himself.
On the other hand, sins are commonly done during weak moments, corruption has a tendency to be woven into the fabric of a person’s way of life, which makes it more difficult for corrupt people to go back to God than for sinners. A corrupt person usually concentrates on fame, power, and money instead of the qualities Jesus told us to pursue.
Fame, power, and money are addictive. A person who commits her life to those things will find it hard to accept that they’re worthless, as it would entail that her life had been for nothing. That’s a hard reality to face, particularly because her detachment from God will have softened her heart.
Corrupt people usually decide to go down the same treacherous way. It’s possible for a corrupt man to go back to God; however, that would require a lot of work. Usually, corrupt people go back to God only when they are faced with an overwhelming difficulty such as the death of a loved one, which forces them to retrace their life decisions and search for help.
Corruption isn’t just detrimental to the people committing it – it’s harmful to society too. Corrupt people hardly hold themselves responsible for their behaviors. For example, they might complain of being robbed; however, they fail to understand that their own tax avoidance is a crime.
The man who robbed a person might confess and repent; however, if the corrupt man just concentrated on the thief’s sins, society suffers more from the consequences of his selfish behaviors.
Generally speaking, corruption is the result of constant egotistical actions. The way to conquering it is compassion.
Chapter 7 – Showing one another God’s mercy by means of compassion will assist heal the society.
Humans aren’t like God who is divine. We can never be as, patient, loving or merciful as God is. But, we can be compassionate, if we follow Jesus’s path.
If people were really compassionate, this world would be a more peaceful place. The majority of the people are unconcerned about the disasters they see and hear on the news. They just bother if it affects them.
We need to endeavor to be more concerned in the world that surrounds us just like Jesus did. When you make an effort to help people and impact more people’s lives, you as well are trying to avert evil.
The hardest times to be merciful or compassionate are when you’re troubled or feel like you’ve gone through some injustice. During those moments, it’s tempting to look for means of retaliation. However, the Bible teaches in the book of (Matthew 5:44), “Love your enemies, and pray for the people who oppress you.” If we don’t, we run the risk of falling into, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” which basically causes a never-ending cycle of violence.
Ruling with love is just as significant as ruling with the law. Jesus’s deeds were usually directed by love, even when it was in opposition to what scholars of the law might do. Jesus taught us that we have to love everybody. Nevertheless, if all of us are sinners, what right do we hold to punish other sinners? That doesn’t entail that we should allow sin to grow unchecked– it entails that we need to attempt to tame sin with love rather than punishment.
Sin is the injury of humanity and the only cure is God’s mercy. When we show one another compassion, we inspire our fellow men to soften their hearts rather than sinning. This inspires them to open their hearts to God and start the healing process. The capability to show compassion is the real test of Christianity. As St. John of the Cross mentioned, “In the evening of life, we will be judged on just loves.”
The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis Book Review
Above everything, God is merciful. Mercy is at the heart of all stories about God and Jesus, and God sent Jesus to Earth to aid as a human expression of the righteousness of mercy. We are sinners; therefore sinners need to be shown mercy to be directed back to the way of righteousness. Anger, vengeance, and punishment, don’t make the world a better place; mercy and compassion do make the world a better place. Mercy is the last trial for humankind.
Don’t be scared to approach God.
Regardless of how much you’ve sinned, God will constantly be there to listen to you. Ask for his mercy, and he will give it.