The Bible contains vast and varied portraits of God's multifaceted mercy. In his typical style Kilian McDonnell's latest collection of poems reveals a lifetime of contemplating biblical characters and their experience of the tenacious mercy of the Sovereign God. What might the Prodigal Son have been rehearsing on his way back home to his father? Did the disciples think Jesus was "teasing" them when he asked them to feed the five thousand? Imagine Mary trying to explain her "bulging belly" to her mother. How are we to understand God's mercy in the turmoil brought about by the birth order of Esau and Jacob? Where was mercy for Jesus on the cross? "Dark Night of the Heart" explores the question of the apparent absence of God's mercy. Enter the drama and amazement of the first miracle at Cana and Jesus' pursuit of wild, ornery fishermen after a long day at sea.
Aggressive Mercy demonstrates the mystery of an extravagantly merciful God. "Who would believe that God / gives away gold buillion / with professional absurdity?" Most poems are accompanied by a Scripture passage and offer readers a starting point to plumb the depths of this coveted characteristic of God and to wonder, struggle, and be awed by the unfathomable mercy of God.
Kilian McDonnell, OSB, is a monk/theologian of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. He is the author of four books of poetry: Swift, Lord, You Are Not; Yahweh's Other Shoe; God Drops and Loses Things; and Wrestling with God (all from Saint John's University Press).