Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Works of Mercy

Corporal Works of Mercy:
  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the Homeless
  5. Visit the imprisoned
  6. Visit the sick
  7. Bury the dead
Spiritual Works of Mercy:
  1. Warn the sinner
  2. Instruct the ignorant
  3. Counsel the doubtful
  4. Comfort the sorrowful
  5. Bear wrongs patiently
  6. Forgive all injuries
  7. Pray for the living and the deceased
Here's an easy challenge. Take a look at these and try to do one act of mercy from each category over the next week. Obviously the corporal works of mercy might take more effort to accomplish, but one might argue that the spiritual works of mercy are actually the harder ones to do with a good conscience. It's very hard to do these things sometimes in the spirit that God wants us to have.


Cheryl said...

Corporal Works of Mercy:
*Feed the hungry
*Give drink to the thirsty
*Clothe the naked
*Shelter the Homeless
Visit the imprisoned
Visit the sick
Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy:
*Warn the sinner
*Instruct the ignorant
Counsel the doubtful
*Comfort the sorrowful
*Bear wrongs patiently
*Forgive all injuries
*Pray for the living and the deceased

...Got four of the physical and six of the spiritual just by being a mommy (nobody's sick right now, or I'd say five of the physical). :D

I'm teasing a bit, obviously - but it's an excellent challenge! What are your thoughts on visiting the imprisoned? Prisons and prison security have changed quite a bit, and I'm not sure that, outside of an established ministry, you could just walk up and say "Hey, I wanna visit someone. No, I don't know anyone imprisoned here..." Would supporting a prison ministry "count"? Are there other things that would be roughly equivalent?

Obviously I'm not asking so as to be able to check something off a list (or get out of checking something off a list) - it's just worth pondering.

~Joseph the Worker said...

We have a local minimum security prison. You can go visit people there if you register with them and fill out the necessary paperwork. You also have to undergo a background check. Our parish does a mass there every Sunday, which is quite a bit easier to attend if you are helping a priest in some way.

I would think that if there was no one to visit (either personally or helping a ministry) then you could contribute, but I tend to like hands on stuff better. Maybe a prayer of thanksgiving that you don't know anyone in prison, and to be with the prisoners who are there. Then, go out and do the others!

Very cute about what parents do by the way! I'm sure a lot also counsel the doubtful, some have to visit their children in prison, and even bury them....sadly. But, your comment should indicate to all of us what a blessing being a mother or father is! God's grace in parenthood allows us to do so many of these acts of mercy. It also shows how important you are to your children.

Cheryl said...

"I tend to like hands on stuff better."

I certainly understand that. And while donations to a ministry are definitely good, I don't think we're really supposed to *just* write a check for each category and call it done. We miss out when we don't physically participate (if possible).

I can't take credit for recognizing the way so many of those are done regularly by parents - I remember seeing it mentioned on "That Catholic Show". But it *is* true!

Speaking of comforting the sorrowful, I hear sorrow from the other room...

~Joseph the Worker said...

Actually you saying that reminded me of this post at Catholic Converts that I saw about a month ago that dealt with the issue of writing a check.

Rev said...

What if you looked at the "imprisoned " from a different slant...
Would somebody who can't get out much or somebody stuck in a nursing home without visitors count as imprisoned? Or does that fall under "sick"?

Joseph i added you to my blogroll as well.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Hmmm. I'd classify that as sick, but here's a situation. Imagine someone held captive by their parents or spouse because of their faith (or any other reason for that matter). They would probably be considered imprisoned.