Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job

Kerry Weber, Author
Kerry Weber. Loyola, $13.95 trade paper (154p) ISBN 978-0-8294-3892-5
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Though titled "how to," Weber's first book is really a reflection on mercy in modern life. Weber, managing editor of America magazine, takes on the seven corporal works of mercy—traditional religious duties such as feeding the hungry and burying the dead—as a practice during Lent, a convenient framework for the book. Each short, easy-to-read chapter contains a Lenten experience and a lesson learned from it, from volunteering in a homeless shelter to visiting a prison. In the book, she goes from breadline to daily Mass, sponsors a woman joining the Catholic Church, and makes a public commitment to Catholicism by becoming a Mercy Associate, a lay minister. As a young single woman living in New York, though, she also jokes about dating during Lent and is candid about her doubts and failures. Weber's insistence that she isn't a perfect Catholic may seem exaggerated to some, but young Catholics concerned with social justice may relate to the guilt she feels for not doing more. She learns, after all, that the works of mercy are not a to-do list, easily explained in a how-to manual, but a way of life. (Feb.)
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