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On September 4, Mother Teresa was canonized by the Catholic Church. A Call to Mercy was published and released in conjunction with this event. Father Brian Kolodiejchuk (Missionaries of Charity), who edited this collection of Mother Teresa’s words and actions as well as the testimonies of those who witnessed Mother Teresa’s works of mercy, hopes that it “will encourage us to deepen our own relationship with the God of tender and merciful love and to extend this love to our brothers and sisters, especially to those most in need, the materially or spiritually poorest of the poor.”

The book outlines Mother Teresa’s ministry of mercy by reflecting on seven physical works of mercy—feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and burying the dead. It then deals with seven spiritual works of mercy—instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead. Each section ends with insightful and challenging questions for reflection and action.

A Call to Mercy includes Catholic practices—the veneration of Mary the mother of Jesus, prayers for the dead and those believed to be in purgatory, and prayers to saints. These are traditions Reformed Christians don’t hold to. However, the book has much to teach about “the mystery of mercy” and challenges readers to take up their God-ordained task of showing mercy to all people. (Image)

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