I just started reading Pope Francis’ book, The Name of God is Mercy, and I’m already hooked. Here’s a little bit from the “To the Reader” section by the editor, Andrea Tornielli. He’s describing Pope Francis’ comments on part of the first draft.
“We discussed the difficulties of acknowledging ourselves as sinners, and in the first draft, I wrote that Francis asserted, ‘The medicine is there, the healing is there–if only we take a small step toward God.’ After reading the text, he called me and asked me to add ‘or even just the desire to take that step.’ It was a phrase that I had clumsily left out of my summary. This addition, or rather, the proper restoration of the complete text, reveals the vast heart of the shepherd who seeks to align himself with the merciful hear of God and leaves nothing untried in reaching out to sinners. He overlooks no possibility, no matter how small, in attempting to give the gift of forgiveness. God awaits us with open arms; we need only take a step toward him like the Prodigal Son. But if, weak as we are, we don’t have the strength to take that step, just the desire to take it is enough. It’s already enough of a start for grace to work and mercy to be granted in accordance with the experience of a Church that does not see itself as a customs office but as an agent that seeks out every single possible way to forgive.”