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Products>Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (3 vols.)

Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (3 vols.)

, 1996–2012
ISBN: 9780898705584

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To the unstudied eye, St. Matthew’s Gospel can seem a terse narrative, almost a historical document and not the tremendously spiritual (and doctrinal) storehouse that it is. In these three volumes on Matthew, Erasmo Leiva shows Matthew’s prose to be not terse so much as economical—astoundingly so given its depth. The lay reader can derive great profit from reading this. Each short meditation comments on a verse or two, pointing to some facet of the text not immediately apparent, but rich with meaning.

Leiva’s work is scholarly but eminently approachable by the lay reader. The tone is very much of “taste and see how good the Lord is” and an invitation of “friend, come up higher!” These volumes help the reader experience the heat of the divine heart and the light of the divine Word.

Leiva points to Matthew’s Gospel as being deeply ecclesial because it is first Christological. Leiva comments on the Greek text, demonstrating nuances in the text that defy translation. He uses numerous quotes from the Fathers and the Liturgy of the Church to demonstrate the way the Tradition has lived and read the Word of God. His theological reflection vivifies doctrine by seeking its roots in the words and actions of Jesus.

The Logos edition helps you to study the Gospel of Matthew more thoroughly than ever. Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word will appear in your Passage Guide and Sermon Starter Guide as you study passages in Matthew, and you can read it side-by-side with any of your Bible translations. References to Church Fathers or saints in your library will appear on mouseover. With just a click, let your studies on Matthew take off.

  • Prayerful, biblical commentary on the Gospel of Matthew
  • Almost 2,500 pages of commentary studying the Greek text

Top Highlights

“Spiritual childhood represents the full blossoming of all the Beatitudes at once” (Volume 2, Page 608)

“Spiritual childhood is a goal to be achieved after long journeying” (Volume 2, Page 607)

“Eyes of faith can see glory shining forth from Jesus here and now. The event of the Transfiguration is essential for us to understand that life in Christ is about fullness of life now. Christianity is not a religion of the continual postponement of joy and delight, as some would like to caricature the Christian virtue of hope. The Transfiguration is the experience of the fullness of divine Presence, action, communication, and glory now, in our very midst, in this world of passingness and disappointment.” (Volume 2, Pages 549–551)

“God wants nothing from us; rather God yearns, with all the passion of a lover, to give himself to us, to take us forever into his embrace. ‘Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and has sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins’ (1 Jn 4:10). God wants no thing from us, except ourselves.” (Volume 1, Page 716)

“Whatever the ‘kingdom of heaven’ may be in itself, we are to conclude from this omnipresent motif of hiddenness, first, that the Kingdom for a long while passes wholly unperceived by human eyes; second, that it develops nonetheless according to laws of its own; and, third, that its eventual coming into the light coincides with God’s dearest design for the world’s salvation.” (Volume 2, Page 293)

This is a biblical commentary with scholarship and, above all, a prayerfulness that is a great gift to the Church.

—Sr. Wendy Beckett, OCD

Fire of Mercy has become a classic of Catholic culture. It is certainly original, like no other meditation on the Scriptures you will ever read.

—John Saward, professor of dogmatic theology, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

  • Title: Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word
  • Author: Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 2,416
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Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis obtained his PhD in comparative literature and theology from Emory University. Formerly a professor of literature and theology at the University of San Francisco, he is now a Trappist monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.


10 ratings

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  1. Kostas Sarantidis
    Profound and inspiring beyond comparison. But when will Logos include volume 4? I have the print edition and it needs to be made available in Logos! It's been two years since the print edition of volume 4 came out, why the delay in Logos? It's not even announced as forthcoming or in preparation.
  2. Disciple96



    I hope the fourth volume will be here in Verbum format soon-ish. I first heard of this series from Fr Anthony over at EWTN’s chapel at Mass a few years ago. He gave it a much deserved recommendation. Thank you, Logos/Verbum for making it available to us!
  3. David Langford
    This is my favorite scripture commentary. Academically sound while filled with a light and grace. It's really more like a lectio divina on the whole book by a native-greek speaker with a PHD in Theology.
  4. Sr. Julie Marie Benedicta
  5. Unix



  6. Brian Losabia

    Brian Losabia


    This is a beautiful commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. I like to read/ponder a section or two at a time, perhaps only covering a half dozen verses. Read the intro of the commentary to learn about the significance of the Aleph between the sections. :)
  7. Beh



  8. jkotecha



    The title has Mercy. Is their any emphasis on this? In what form? I'm looking for books that might be of interested to people with the gift of mercy.
  9. James Shoro

    James Shoro


    My father-in-law highly recommended this to me. He said that it was "spiritually trans-formative" for him. I hope that it gets released soon! The price for the digital download is incredibly reasonable.
  10. Antonius



    The Associate Pastor at my parish recommended this to me, he has all three volumes, and loves it (so do the reviewers on Amazon). This commentary is done in a different way than a typical commentary. From the forward to volume 1: this commentary is a "lectio divina a meditative reading of the divine Word that is at once rigorously critical and deeply moving."


Digital list price: $74.99
Save $15.00 (20%)