Stumbling into Grace

How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy
Author: Mary Pezzulo

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: June 10, 2021

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Winner of a second-place award in the Catholic social teaching category from the Catholic Media Association.

Mary Pezzulo intended to learn all about God through graduate studies in philosophy and Christian ethics, but serious illness ruined those plans and landed her young family in desperate straits. Despite chronic illness, deep poverty, blatant discrimination, and the cruelty she encountered, Pezzulo began tripping over God in the tiny works of mercy she offered to others and received herself. With striking candor and gritty faith she shows us how we also can meet God in the smallest acts of love.

When Pezzulo began her blog Steel Magnificat in 2016, she never imagined she would be writing so much about poverty, discrimination, abuse, or the loneliness of chronic illness. Nor did she realize that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy would bring stark clarity and unflinching hope to her life. She had moved to Steubenville, Ohio, to study philosophy and ethics so that she could teach people about Jesus and make the world a better place. She expected to find God in beautiful churches, inspiring books, and the spoken words of brilliant scholars. But when her life and professional ambitions crumbled around her, she entered a terrible darkness and floundered in desperate poverty, illness, and the lingering trauma of abuse.

In that dark time, Pezzulo began to know mercy, finding God in countless tiny acts. In Stumbling into Grace she shows how the works of mercy have become her anchor in turbulence and calm, piercing sorrow and ridiculous joy, overcoming despair and bringing enduring hope. Now she shares with you how to live the works of mercy in your own life.

  • When Feeding the Hungry, keep in mind that the more needy the person you’re feeding is the more care you should take—these are the people who are most in need of hope and visible acts of love.
  • Instructing the Ignorant begins with helping people and forming good relationships because people are worth it.
  • Giving Drink to the Thirsty can mean advocacy and charitable giving that support access to clean water for those throughout the world just as much as it means offering drinks to anyone who enters your home.
  • Counseling the Doubtful starts with acknowledging that faith is bigger than all of us and that it’s not wrong to have questions, doubts, or to look at another faith to see if its beliefs and practices are closer to your spiritual longings.
  • Clothing the Naked means restoring a sense of dignity to every part of a person by providing appropriate, comfortable, and good-looking clothing, and by protecting people from gossip and prejudice.

Product Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781646800636

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “Deeply personal, raw.”

    “A deeply personal, raw encounter with the works of mercy. Mary Pezzulo’s insights are not only emotionally moving and inspirational, they are also intricately relatable and practical for most everyone’s everyday life.”

    Fr. Casey Cole, O.F.M.
    Author of Called: What Happens after Saying Yes to God

  • “The helpful guide we need to stay focused on Christ.”

    “In a world that seems filled with new normals, strange challenges, and more people than ever carrying the heavy weights of illness, poverty, loneliness, displacement, and disillusionment, we may all find ourselves stumbling into grace and feeling ill-equipped as we do. This book is the helpful guide we need to stay focused on Christ, live, and serve within a world that is very different from the one most of us were born into.”

    Elizabeth Scalia
    Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
    Author of Strange Gods

  • “Provocative and trustworthy.”

    “This is an excellent resource for both committed and searching Catholics who want to live out their faith through the incarnate mercy of Jesus Christ. Mary Pezzulo is a provocative and trustworthy guide for just such an adventure.”

    Timothy P. O'Malley
    Director of McGrath Theology Online
    McGrath Institute for Church Life
    University of Notre Dame

  • “A work of mercy.”

    “We need more work like Mary Pezzulo's, rooted not just in the ideals of our faith tradition but in the lived experience of Catholic women, to accompany us on the spiritual adventure of being human. This book itself is a work of mercy.”


    Jessica Mesman
    Associate editor of The Christian Century
    Author of Love and Salt 

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