Pope Francis has called for a "Year of Mercy" in 2016. Here's part of his statement on "Misericordiae Vultus, The Face of Mercy":

"Mercy is the very foundation of the Church's life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The church's very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love."

This collection of essays, which all address this emphasis by the Pope, has been edited by Christine M. Bochen, professor of religious studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. Included are:

  • Walter Kasper on the key word of Francis's Pontificate
  • Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff on the ethic of Jesus
  • Jim Forest on mercy as a hard virtue
  • Liberation theologian Jon Sobrino on mercy as the fulcrum of all the practices of Jesus
  • Thomas Merton on the Church's duty to keep the climate of mercy alive and well
  • Dorothy Day on the works of mercy as central to our growth in faith and love
  • Sidney Callahan's view that mercy is central to the playing out of our life stories
  • Elaine Prevallet on the challenge of living out God's mercying love
  • Joan Chittister on the audacity of mercy
  • Joyce Rupp on the infiniteness of God's mercy
  • A poem by R. S. Thomas