A MONTHLY LETTER FROM ORBIS BOOKS PUBLISHER, ROBERT ELLSBERG
Robert Ellsberg In declaring this year a Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis calls on us to open our hearts to God’s merciful love, while at the same time opening our hearts to a wounded world and the needs of our neighbors. To begin, we may look with fresh eyes and hearts to the examples of Mary and to Jesus through one of the most compelling parables in Scripture.
Mother of God, Similar to Fire features the striking modern icons of William Hart McNichols along with hauntingly beautiful prayer-reflections by author and retreat leader Mirabai Starr. Together, they depict the many facets of the Blessed Mother, herself an icon of divine compassion. Now in paperback, this book is a companion for prayer and reflection throughout the year.
In Jesus and the Prodigal Son: The God of Radical Mercy Dominican Brian J. Pierce offers a startlingly fresh perspective on the most beloved parable. While most interpretations focus on the father’s forgiveness as an image of divine mercy, Pierce looks instead at the Prodigal Son as a symbolic figure for Jesus—the emissary of God’s love, who entered into the sin and suffering of the world to redeem it from within.
In the coming months Orbis will be publishing an important new book on the theme of Mercy, as well as more of Pope Francis’s words. In the meantime, you can explore the many ways of mercy through some of our previous titles:
· One of the last books by the late Father Joe Girzone, best-known for the Joshua series, The Wisdom of His Compassion shows how we might model our own discipleship on Christ’s way of love and mercy.
· In Radical Forgiveness, Antoinette Bosco, whose son and daughter-in-law were murdered, reflects on the lessons from her personal story to show how forgiveness is the freeing essence of the Gospel.
· Women of Mercy by Kathy Coffey with art by Mickey McGrath focuses on 16 faith-filled women whose lives are models of mercy, including Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Thea Bowman, Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa.
· From El Salvador, Jesuit Jon Sobrino offers profound reflections in The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross. “The Crucified People” refers to the innocent victims of oppression and violence who do not simply inspire our contemplation of the mystery of suffering; mercy also implies effective solidarity with those who suffer on the margins.
· Fritz Eichenberg: Works of Mercy features the artwork of the famous Catholic Worker artist accompanied by reflections from Dorothy Day and others on the theme of compassion, mercy and service.
May the spirit of Mercy guide us this Lenten season and throughout the Jubilee year.