We had a beautiful, solemn liturgy for Divine Mercy Sunday at our cathedral today. I’m grateful. In many places this devotion is ignored.
Some years ago, in my travels, a young monk gave me a sliver of a bone of Sister Faustina before she was canonized by Pope John Paul II. In so many ways I can look back and find the work of mercy in my own life since that fragment of her relic has been on the shelf over my computer.
And yet, how many of us practice the works of mercy that are asked of every Catholic? Few of us actually know the list!
Corporal Works of Mercy:
- To feed the hungry
- To give drink to the thirsty
- To clothe the naked
- To shelter the homeless
- To visit the sick
- To ransom the captive
- To bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy :
- To instruct the ignorant
- To counsel the doubtful
- To admonish sinners
- To bear wrongs patiently
- To forgive offenses willingly
- To comfort the afflicted
- To pray for the living and the dead.
Some of these are readily observed, others rarely.
It seems to me that political correctness makes us hesitant to “instruct the ignorant” in matters of faith and morals.
Ditto for “admonish the sinners”! If you mention a sin to some people they accuse you of a hate crime. Yet, scripture is clear that we have an obligation to point out ( in love!) major sinful situations. In the most urgent sense, the spiritual works of mercy are more important. They go to the heart of a person’s eternal well being.
Can it be that because we do not instruct the ignorant or admonish the sinners, that we are guilty of permitting our culture to become so toxic to the Christian family? And by unremitting exposure to that toxicity, new souls are floundering every day? How accountable are we for the present culture crisis?
I’m curious about your thoughts on this most merciful work.