Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daily Works of Mercy

Occasionally, I am tempted to feel overwhelmed by all the needs and hurting in the world.  The overachiever in me sometimes feels restrained by the demands of daily, family life.   Really, can I do any good for the wider, broken world in the midst of meal prep, laundry loads, potty training and nap time?

In those moments, I need to settle my restless heart with a reminder from Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta:

To help this needy, hurting world, I need to change the way I see the work in my day, not shirk my responsibilities within it.

Mother Theresa also once said,

Which reminds me of one of my favorite prayers from Saint Teresa of Avila:

Jesus has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. 
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless his people.

So, with new eyes I review the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we, as Christians, are called to bring into the world:

The Corporal Works of Mercy                                   The Spiritual works of Mercy
Feeding the hungry                                                   Admonishing the sinner
Giving drink to the thirsty                                              Instructing the ignorant
Clothing the naked                                                      Counseling the doubtful
Hospitality to the homeless                                            Comforting the sorrowful
Caring for the sick                                                         Bearing wrongs patiently   
Visiting the imprisoned                                                      Forgiving all injuries
Burying the dead                                                      Praying for the living 
                                                                                                       and the dead

When I reflect on these works of mercy with new eyes, they suddenly sound remarkably similar to many of my daily responsibilities.  God, grant me the mercy to complete these great works with great love.  Then I would be truly helping to change the world.

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