Book review: ‘Mercy in the City’

mercyAlong my journey during the Jubilee of Mercy, I wanted to seek outside advice for how to proceed during this special year. With the Internet age, I can find a long of resources online through blogs and other means.

However, I am a traditionalist, and I love books. So, before this journey, I compiled a list of books that I would seek out and read, to help me along my way.

The first book I read was “Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep your Day Job” by Kerry Weber. Weber is a Mercy Associate and managing editor of America magazine.

Throughout this book, Weber tries to tackle all the corporal acts of mercy during the Lenten season one year. She was applying to be Mercy Associate with the Sisters of Mercy, whose mission is to do the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy that all Catholics are called to do.

As a refresher, the corporal acts of mercy are:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter to the homeless
  • Visit the sick and imprisoned
  • Bury the dead

As a young New Yorker, Weber talks about the struggles not just during Lent but as a faithful Catholic who is new in a career and is managing the dating scene. She mentions how hard it is to also incorporate these works of mercy that we are all called to do, and how to be in the world, but not of the world.

I enjoyed reading Weber’s tales, her fears and her joys. It was a very timely, modern look at the Catholic faith that can draw in a younger generation, to show how faith is never perfect but a work in progress.

Whereas I liked the book, I felt the title is misleading. With the “your” in the title, I thought Weber was going to give more practical advice on how to live out the corporal acts of mercy, not just tell me what she did in New York City. She has many more resources than I do, and I even have more resources than someone living in a smaller town. She has the flexibility of options to work with her schedule; I have to manage mine to a T in order to volunteer.

It might have been better to say “How I Fed the Hungry … and kept my day job.”

All in all, a good read if you want to commiserate with someone else struggling with their faith.

Rating: 3 stars



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