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Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Vol. 1 (Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word #1)

4.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
To the unstudied eye, Matthew's gospel can seem a terse narrative, almost a historical document and not the tremendously spiritual (and doctrinal) storehouse that it is. Erasmo Leiva here acts as our guide, showing Matthew's prose to be not terse so much as economicalastoundingly so given its depth. The lay reader can derive great profit from reading this. Each short medit ...more
Paperback, 733 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Ignatius Press
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Julie Davis
Jan 15, 2014 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing
Yes it's 700 pages and only covers the first third of the Gospel of Matthew.

And your point is ...?

That I might not live long enough to finish all three books?

If I don't finish the 2,100 pages or so by then, hopefully I'll be in a place where God will fill me in on what I missed.

Actually I'd been circling around this book for several years. It took Will Duquette's enthusiasm to tip me over the edge.

Flipping through this doorstop, I came across a paragraph that stopped me in my tracks.
The Virgin
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Lee
Apr 03, 2015 Lee is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I heard a priest up at EWTN's chapel give a homily filled with insights from Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word. I promised myself to read the whole set one day. Now I have all three volumes in Logos/Verbum format, and all I can say is, Wow!
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Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (now Fr. Simeon, OCSO) is a Trappist monk and accomplished author, preacher, and retreat master.

He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theology from Emory University.. His areas of interest include liturgy and liturgical texts, Georg Trakl's poetry, the Gospel of Matthew, French and German poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Greek and Ro
...more
More about Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis...

Other Books in the Series

Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word (3 books)
  • Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Vol. 2
  • Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Vol. 3

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“9:36a    ἰδὼν δὲ τούς ὄχλους ἐσπλαγχνίσθη πεϱὶ αὐτῶν seeing the crowds, his insides were moved with pity for them THE JEWS AND THE GREEKS could not succeed in making pity and compassion into a purely mental act. It sounds archaic, hardly short of embarrassing, to say that “Jesus saw the crowds and felt pity for them in his bowels.” But, in fact, any translation that omits compassion’s element of viscerality (for σπλάγχνα, the root of the verb here, means “viscera”, “bowels”, “womb”) has already betrayed the depth of Jesus’ divine and human pity. We all know how the strongest emotions—whether sorrow, fear, joy, or desire—are all initially registered in the abdominal region, and this physiological reaction is one of the proofs of the authenticity of our emotions. The same teacher, herald, and healer who surpassed all others in these crafts finally reveals himself in utter silence and inactivity in his deepest nature: the Compassionate One who is affected by suffering more elementally than the sufferers he sees around him. If Mary’s womb was proclaimed blessed for having borne such a Child, we now see in the Son the Mother’s most precious quality: wide-wombed compassion. When we allow ourselves to be moved in this way, we are already hopelessly involved with the object of our pity: no possibility here of a distanced display of “charity” that refuses to become tainted by contact with the stench of human misery. Jesus looks at the crowds, then, and is viscerally moved. What power in the gaze of a Savior who pauses in the midst of his activity in order to take into himself the full, wounded reality about him! Jesus never protects himself against the claims of distress. He is not content with emanating the truth, joy, and healing power that are his: he must become a fellow sufferer. His loving gaze is like an open wound that filters out no sorrow. He has already done so much for them; but as long as he sees misery, nothing is enough; and so he wonders what else remains to be done. His contemplative sorrow becomes a stimulant to his creative imagination. He nestles all manner of plight within his person, and every human need becomes a churning in his inward parts. He interiorizes the chaos of the surrounding landscape, but, by entering him, it becomes contained, comprehended, embraced and saved.” 1 likes
“The Virgin Mary is called the [Greek words] (the "book of the Word of life") by the Greek Church. The book of the Gospel, the book of Christ's origins and life, can be written and proclaimed because God has first written his living Word in the living book of the Virgin's being, which she has offered to her Lord in all its purity and humility—the whiteness of a chaste, empty page. If the name of Mary does not often appear in the pages of the Gospel as evident participant in the action, it is because she is the human ground of humility and obedience upon which every letter of Christ's life is written. She is the Theotokos, too, in the sense that she is the book that bears, and is inscribed with, the Word of God. She keeps her silence that he might resonate the more plainly within her.” 1 likes
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