Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve – Mother Teresa (ed. By Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC)

©2016 Image, New York

On the occasion of her canonization in the Catholic Church, this collection of sayings, instructions, and speech excerpts from the late founder of the Order of Missionaries of Charity is both inspiring and challenging. The volume was designed and released to coincide with her canonization.

Few people would deny the inspiration that Mother Teresa was (and is) to people of faith, even some of us who are not Catholic. The collection of her wisdom and her instruction to the Order is a beaming snapshot of who this revered nun was. Included with the collection are sisters’ recollections of Mother Teresa in not only her teaching but in her living out of that teaching personally.

I must say that tackling this book is a mammoth task because it is a collection rather than a memoir. It is not a biography, but at the same time it is. Collected here are teachings that amount to the things by which this saintly woman would want to be remembered. The lessons that she taught are collected and edited into categories that explain the demonstrative faith that made her the leader that she was and allow people of faith to remember her for the saint that she is. The editor begins with sayings, instruction, and memories on the teaching “Feed the Hungry” and includes chapters on visiting the sick and imprisoned and bearing wrongs patiently.

I would not advise reading the book like an essay or even a textbook. However, it is an excellent reference to keep handy when needing an example of living faith in real time, which is what Mother Teresa did and encouraged others to do.

My recommendation of this book is for those who would like to see more into the life and work of this newly canonized saint, for those who are looking for some inspiring examples of faith in daily living, and for those who want to know more about what one who is the hands and feet of Jesus Christ looks like. I do not recommend this volume for those looking for an escape, a little light reading, or even a pat on the spiritual back for being good. Because of the limited audience appeal of this book and the heavy content within I rate this book at an even 3 reading glasses (for the faith community, it’s a 4.5, and for the Roman Catholic readers out there, I’d raise it up to a 5 and proclaim it required reading).

—Benjamin Potter January 11, 2017

[This book was provided free of charge by the publisher for purposes of this review. The opinions are my own.]

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