Only Love Creates: The Spiritual Works of Mercy

[Solo l'amore crea]
Paraclete Press
Year of publication: 
Moral assessment: 
Type: Thought
Nothing inappropriate.
Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
Readers with knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Literary quality: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

The content of the book comes from a cycle of talks on the spiritual works of mercy that the author gave in Rome to a group of the faithful - especially young people - during the 2016 Jubilee of Mercy. The exposition is lively, informative and encouraging. The text presents the works of mercy from Sacred Scripture and from his faith and pastoral experience. It describes the challenge to which each work of mercy invites us to respond; indicates the substitutes to which we easily resort to overcome them; and proposes how to understand and live each work of mercy in its full Christian sense.

Perhaps the most successful aspect of the book is that of "unmasking" the unrealistic commonplaces about the spiritual works of mercy, which identify them with noble actions that are alien to the most immediate everyday life; it offers, instead, very accessible ways to encourage people to live charity in the normality and complexity of everyday life. It helps to discover that "the deepest happiness in life is to care for someone".

The rationale behind the explanations of each spiritual work of mercy consists in affirming that it is in the personal relationship with God that we receive his love; and this, in turn, makes us capable of creating something new - of loving - in the face of complex human situations: loving our neighbor with the love of God; or, as the title says with a phrase of St. Massimiliano Kolbe: Only love creates.

It can be especially useful for a young-adult audience and for educators, since it offers ideas on how to encourage the living of charity in everyday circumstances.

Author: Redacción Delibris, Italy
Update on: May 2021