You may have heard that Pope Francis announced a Holy Year of Jubilee Year of Mercy, to start December 8 2015 and end November 20 2016. The document that announces this holy year, called a papal bull, is titled Misericordiae Vultus and is well worth the read.

Knowing that most people won’t read this document, even though it’s not all that long, here is a very good summary and review by the National Catholic Reporter.  Below are some of the lines that jumped out at me. I will follow with some thoughts about how to live this Holy Year.

“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian Faith.” (1) The opening lines center mercy at the heart of our faith.

“The Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and installs hope.” (3)

“Mercy is not only an action of the Father…[but] a criterion for ascertaining who his children are.” (9)

“The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters.” (10)

“The Church’s first truth is the love of Christ.” (12)

Part of the calling to live mercy echoes Isaiah, to offer “consolation to the poor, liberty to those bound by new forms of slavery in modern society, to restore sight to those who can see no more because they are caught up in themselves, to restore dignity to all those from whom it has been robbed.” (16, italics mine)

You might like other lines better. The way he connects Christian, Jewish and Muslim understanding of divine mercy in 23 is striking. His offer of Missionaries of Mercy in 18 will likely get a lot of discussion, especially in light of this fall’s Synod on the Family. So check it out for yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: