Father Jeffrey Kirby and Brian Kennelly have a magnificent book on salvation history that does a couple of things. First, it gives readers scriptural examples of God’s mercy given to His people throughout history. Second it uses that proof as a roadmap to show how we ourselves can channel the mercy we have received and pour it forth onto others. The book is called Doors of Mercy: A Journey Through Salvation History.
Before going into what the book is about the makeup of the book must be noted. Throughout the book are beautiful classic full page paintings of the events being discussed. This volume is also hardbound lending itself to somewhat of a textbook format. Neither of these points was necessary but it shows the thought that went into the book prior to publishing.
Early in the book we learn that God’s mercy is clearly illustrated throughout history in His forgiveness of sins. Not only does he forgive our sins but He continues to love us as only a Father could. Throughout history God’s people continually turned their backs on Him. In contrast the Father poured out his mercy, patiently waiting for his children to come home. “God could have turned his back on a people who were against Him. He could have completely destroyed the world forever. The sins of humanity certainly could have merited one of these responses.”
Father Kirby and Brian Kennelly use the examples of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, and others to show how great God’s Mercy truly is. Here is a key point from the chapter on Noah that carried throughout the book. “We can take a great deal of hope in the fact that God spared Noah and his family from the flood, that He promised peace afterwards, and that, even after Noah fell back into sin, God did not abandon him. What a comfort this should be to us as we look at our own lives and the world today.”
The book really is an eye opener. Sometimes it seem people read the Bible from a distance and see the stories within it as something that happened but not applicable to us today. That is wrong. We have the same faults as those who lived in the time of both the Old and New Testaments. Whereas the people built a golden calf in Moses’ time or the great Tower of Babel we have our own false God’s today in our “Possessions, Power, Prestige, Pleasure and Popularity” as the book points out.
“When we stray, when we cherish our false gods over our heavenly Father, we have to repent and return to Him. We have to stop for a moment and realize that our life’s short-term direction has veered off course. Then, we have to repent with a remorseful heart and seek the Lord’s forgiveness.”
After covering the Old Testament and the fulfillment of its promise in Christ, Father Jeffrey and Brian cover The Church and the story of the saint of Divine Mercy, Sister Faustina. All facets of the book point to the same theme….God the Father’s infinite mercy. A mercy he freely imparts even when we do not deserve it. The journey is not easy; we will certainly face hardship and struggle, but one thing is certain. If we pick up our crosses and carry them as necessary the reward in great. At the end of the path there is a loving God waiting for us with open arms. Thanks be to God!