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The Name of God is Mercy

Pope Francis's appeal for peace and hope

By Pope Francis
13-minute read
Audio available
The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis

The Name of God is Mercy (2016) outlines Pope Francis’s view of God and the Bible, and the reasons that the most important attribute of God is mercy.

  • Theology students
  • People seeking religious guidance
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about the Pope

Pope Francis is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church and the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere. His unwavering commitment to mercy has caused a lot of controversy. He has published many other books, including The Church of Mercy, Walking with Jesus and Corruption and Sin: Some Thoughts on Corruption.

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The Name of God is Mercy

By Pope Francis
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis
Synopsis

The Name of God is Mercy (2016) outlines Pope Francis’s view of God and the Bible, and the reasons that the most important attribute of God is mercy.

Key idea 1 of 8

God’s most important attribute is mercy.

“God” encompasses many things, like patience, benevolence and omnipotence. There’s one word, however, that God encompasses most: mercy.

God is often compelled to make a choice between mercy or punishment, and he always chooses mercy. For example, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26) tells us to let go of our anger before the sun sets, so we can wake joyfully the next day without resentment.

A lot of people have misinterpreted this quote as an instruction to hold onto your anger. That fits with the interpretation of God as vengeful – a far cry from the idea of God as merciful.

Mercy is what connects people to God, not anger or hate. God’s mercy is the anchor that stops people from spiraling into a life of sin. It reminds them that life has meaning. God’s mercy allows people to remember that they’ll always be loved and their attempts to live righteously aren’t in vain.

When people repent to gain God’s love, they strive to live better lives and make the world a better place. Faith in the mercy of God makes people want to help others as well. As it says in Psalm 145:7-9, “He executes justice for the oppressed; he gives food to the hungry.”

God also tells us that he’ll answer us when asked, which stops people from trying to take matters into their own hands. Imperfect humans are naturally less merciful than God, so important matters should not be entrusted to them alone.

God’s ability to show mercy rather than cause destruction is also a sign of his power. The same goes for humankind. That’s why God sent Jesus to be an example for humankind, so we could learn from a being in our own form.

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