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

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

4.3 3
by Kerry Weber
 

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When Jesus asked us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and visit the imprisoned, he didn’t mean it literally, right? Kerry Weber, a modern, young, single woman in New York City sets out to see if she can practice the Corporal Works of Mercy in an authentic, personal, meaningful manner while maintaining a full, robust, regular life. Weber, a lay

Overview

When Jesus asked us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and visit the imprisoned, he didn’t mean it literally, right? Kerry Weber, a modern, young, single woman in New York City sets out to see if she can practice the Corporal Works of Mercy in an authentic, personal, meaningful manner while maintaining a full, robust, regular life. Weber, a lay Catholic, explores the Works of Mercy in the real world, with a gut-level honesty and transparency that people of urban, country, and suburban locales alike can relate to. Mercy in the City is for anyone who is struggling to live in a meaningful, merciful way amid the pressures of “real life.”

For those who feel they are already overscheduled and too busy, for those who assume that they are not “religious enough” to practice the Works of Mercy, for those who worry that they are alone in their efforts to live an authentic life, Mercy in the City proves that by living as people for others, we learn to connect as people of faith.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/24/2014
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.)
From the Publisher

"Kerry Weber is one of the liveliest, brightest, most provocative and most articulate voices on the Catholic scene today.  With stories that are both profound and lighthearted (and often at the same time) her marvelous new book will help you locate mercy in your daily life.  This is that rare book that will indeed make you laugh and cry, but also pray and serve.  Highly recommended."
- James Martin, SJ author of My Life with the Saints and Jesus: A Pilgrimage

"With wit and wisdom, Kerry Weber  explores what mercy means in the everyday world. Her clear, spare style  reaches the heart and makes one seek just one more brief chapter before putting the book down. Weber focuses on Lent, but this literary treat holds  nuggets for all year long."
- Sister Mary Ann Walsh
Sister of Mercy of the Americas
Director of Media Relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

"This engaging book will take you to the heart of what it means to try to practice mercy in a cruel world. It helps us to remember that so much of what we take for granted -- food, water to drink, clothing, and shelter -- are a luxury to many, even in a land of plenty. From a soup line and homeless shelter to death row on San Quentin, the author makes us see the humanity of those we'd prefer to ignore. And if you're looking for a book that cites both Basil the Great and 'The Muppets Take Manhattan,' this is for you!"

- Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk and Acedia and Me

"If 'change the world' is on your to do list, then Mercy in the City should be on your reading list. Kerry Weber's work is instructive, inspirational, filled with heart, and -- perhaps most importantly -- destined to rock your world. If you've ever desired to be Christ to those in need, but didn't quite know how to make it happen in the context of a busy schedule, this is the book for you!"
- Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Grace of Yes and founder of CatholicMom.com

"You feel hopeful, excited and inspired about Lent after reading her book. Moreover, you want to try and complete the Corporal Works of Mercy just like Kerry does. Her honesty about the challenges she faced and the realizations she reached is refreshing to read."
- Melissa Stevens, Catholic Relief Services

 “Kerry Weber’s Mercy in the City is a must-read book for any contemporary Christian, but especially those in their twenties or thirties, looking to connect with their faith in a practical way. Like Pope Francis, who has called us to refocus on the mercy of God, Weber makes this central Gospel principle tangible with her relatable, insightful, and at times humorous delivery. You will love this book and be challenged by it too!”
-- Daniel P. Horan, OFM, author, The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering 

"Though Catholic in tradition, Weber’s book is catholic in spirit, that is, it provides a vision of everyday saintliness lived out by one who sees herself as being far from saintly. This is its strength and its inspiration."
-- Bruce Epperly, Living A Holy Adventure

 "Weber strives to be a contemplative in action, a person who finds God in all things, and who seeks out the liturgical practices of the Church to nourish the desire to give of herself in imitation of Christ. This sister in faith can help to strengthen those who are still finding their way in the Church, or perhaps who have even lost their way for a time. Mercy, she reminds us, is at the heart of Jesus’ mission."
- Tim Muldoon, author of The Ignatian Workout

"In her concise, quick moving, and often funny book, Weber chronicles her experience of giving up sweets, alcohol, and - the real kicker- trying to complete all the corporal works of mercy in the 40(ish) days before Easter."
- US Catholic Magazine

"If you take even one thing away from this book, you’ll be a better person and a better Catholic."
- Our Sunday Visitor

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780829438925
Publisher:
Loyola Press
Publication date:
02/01/2014
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
153
Sales rank:
62,336
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Kerry Weber is one of the liveliest, brightest, most provocative and most articulate voices on the Catholic scene today.  With stories that are both profound and lighthearted (and often at the same time) her marvelous new book will help you locate mercy in your daily life.  This is that rare book that will indeed make you laugh and cry, but also pray and serve.  Highly recommended."
- James Martin, SJ author of My Life with the Saints and Jesus: A Pilgrimage

"With wit and wisdom, Kerry Weber  explores what mercy means in the everyday world. Her clear, spare style  reaches the heart and makes one seek just one more brief chapter before putting the book down. Weber focuses on Lent, but this literary treat holds  nuggets for all year long."
- Sister Mary Ann Walsh
Sister of Mercy of the Americas
Director of Media Relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

"This engaging book will take you to the heart of what it means to try to practice mercy in a cruel world. It helps us to remember that so much of what we take for granted -- food, water to drink, clothing, and shelter -- are a luxury to many, even in a land of plenty. From a soup line and homeless shelter to death row on San Quentin, the author makes us see the humanity of those we'd prefer to ignore. And if you're looking for a book that cites both Basil the Great and 'The Muppets Take Manhattan,' this is for you!"

- Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk and Acedia and Me

"If 'change the world' is on your to do list, then Mercy in the City should be on your reading list. Kerry Weber's work is instructive, inspirational, filled with heart, and -- perhaps most importantly -- destined to rock your world. If you've ever desired to be Christ to those in need, but didn't quite know how to make it happen in the context of a busy schedule, this is the book for you!"
- Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Grace of Yes and founder of CatholicMom.com

"You feel hopeful, excited and inspired about Lent after reading her book. Moreover, you want to try and complete the Corporal Works of Mercy just like Kerry does. Her honesty about the challenges she faced and the realizations she reached is refreshing to read."
- Melissa Stevens, Catholic Relief Services

 “Kerry Weber’s Mercy in the City is a must-read book for any contemporary Christian, but especially those in their twenties or thirties, looking to connect with their faith in a practical way. Like Pope Francis, who has called us to refocus on the mercy of God, Weber makes this central Gospel principle tangible with her relatable, insightful, and at times humorous delivery. You will love this book and be challenged by it too!”
-- Daniel P. Horan, OFM, author, The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering 

Meet the Author


Kerry Weber is a Mercy Associate and Managing Editor of America magazine. She is an alumna of the Mercy Volunteer Corps and of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City.

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Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry: Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the first things the reader will notice about this remarkable book is that the author, Kerry Weber, is incredibly down-to-earth and approachable – a voice speaking with authenticity and even authority, but without a single note of sanctimonious piety. She is precisely what she purports to be: a young, single woman in a large city (it doesn’t get much larger than New York) who is seeking to live out God’s will via the Corporal Works of Mercy. The whole experience began as a Lenten discipline. Although she had decided to do the usual “giving up” routine (no alcohol or sweets, no exceptions), this particular year Weber decided to take the notion of Lent one step further. In addition to doing without, she also wanted to “do more”, and what she chose as a vehicle for that were the Corporal Works of Mercy – all seven of them. (For readers who have forgotten precisely what those Works are, this book offers a pretty complete refresher course.) Her tone throughout the book is both light and serious, meaning that she takes the work seriously and herself lightly. She begins with perhaps the easiest of the Corporal Works for her, which is feeding the hungry. From helping out on a breadline, she moves on to clothing the naked; this involves assisting in the distribution of free clothing to needy women at a Catholic Worker House on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (which also leads her to a MAJOR closet clean-out). From here, she finds herself feeling surprisingly at home as part of the overnight staff at a homeless shelter. From contemplating homelessness – and her own interactions (or not) with the multitude of New York City’s homeless – she gives drink to the thirsty by manning a “fluid station” at a NYC half marathon. Though not exhausting work, even this particular morning has something to teach: “This is part of the beauty of the faith, that these waters are offered, they’re ready for us, ready to fill our thirst, but never forced on us,” Weber remarks at the end of the race clean-up. “We have to choose when and how much and how often to drink, with Christ standing always along the course, nudging the cups toward us.” Weber then spends part of Holy Thursday at a home for retired Sisters of Mercy, where she learns that serving those who are ill and being served when ill are two sides of the same coin. And finally, a trip to a cemetery to talk with a grave-digger gives her a remarkable insight into life – both here and eternally. But by far the most powerful part of the book happens in chapters nineteen through twenty-one, where Weber “visited the imprisoned”. A work-related conference in California was the opportunity for both a tourist stop at Alcatraz and a more serious, prearranged visit to San Quentin Penitentiary. There, with Father George Williams, the Jesuit prison chaplain, as her guide, she meets with a number of inmates, including those who are on death row. What she finds there surprises her; she encounters other human beings, not all that different from herself. “I had arrived ready to visit prisoners,” she concludes, “but if I’m honest, I did not arrive ready to visit people”. Although this book takes place during one Lenten season, its message is appropriate year round. Recommended for anyone who wants to experience more deeply the Gospel’s radical cal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Magazine editor writes about her volunteer experiences in New York City and elsewhere. She describes challenges that single Catholics face when combining a professional career, volunteerism, and dating. This book is a thoughtful, even-paced reflection by someone who is serious about living a Catholic life in a big city. Great book for ages 18-35.