The Corporal Works of Mercy:
Feed the Hungry; Give Drink to the Thirsty; Shelter the Homeless; Clothe the Naked; Visit the Sick; Visit the Imprisoned; Bury the Dead
The Spiritual Works of Mercy:
Correct the Sinner; Instruct the Ignorant; Counsel the Doubting; Comfort the Sorrowful; Be Patient With Those In Error; Forgive Offenses; Pray for the Living & the Dead
Many times I have spoken of the power and blessings of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy—for those who receive them and also for those who bestow them. They bear repeating, because they are such an important part of who we are as Christians.
We are most certainly not able to do all of those things all the time. I don’t think we’re being asked to. But I do believe we are asked to consciously reach out beyond ourselves to those in need.
My mother was a very wise woman. She many times said to me “There but for the grace of God go I.”
I always understood the general idea, but I was an adult before I had a true understanding of what she was trying to say. But the reality is that I didn’t REALLY understand it until recently.
Working in a downtown church office, we’ve “seen it all”. We get people from every walk of life stopping in to see us. We can’t help everyone. I have a “service temperament” and that’s hard for me. I always want to help and fix. But I can’t. What I CAN do, though, is offer myself. I try to spend a few minutes with each person and restore some human dignity to them. Some just need to have someone not scoot them out the door for once! It’s really amazing sometimes how little it takes to give a person some encouragement.
What seems like a little effort or a little thing to us can mean the world to someone who is in need. It doesn’t take much time or effort to come once a week to make fresh sandwiches for the homeless. Or to bring some canned goods to church with you on Sunday. It doesn’t take much effort to donate blankets or jackets to Brother Benno’s in the cold months. Even if you yourself are homebound, you can pray for others.
Pay attention to all you have been given. This includes your God-given talents and charisms and all the blessings you have received during your life. BE GRATEFUL. Express your gratitude to God.
It is through our parish’s Feed My People ministry that we help those on the street with sack lunches, bus passes, assistance with prescriptions. This ministry also allows us to provide groceries each month to families with homes and cooking facilities.
However, our designated funds for our Outreach Programs are depleted. We are now forced to cut back on the help we are able to offer. If you are able to make a monetary gift, please mark it as “For the Poor” and we will guarantee that it will be used for that purpose.
Pray intentionally for the continuance of our outreach programs and also to ask God to give you direction on how best to support our programs. You will be amazed at the GRACE OF GOD that you will receive as well as those your efforts benefit.