As Catholics, we are called to love and to serve each other, especially to help those in need. A few years ago, our Pope consecrated the whole year as The Year of Mercy. Every year in this time of Lent, at the same time that we focus on our spiritual life, the church recommends us to work especially on the work of mercy, giving alms. It is in giving and helping others that we realize how blessed we are.
There is a wonderful grace in sharing and giving. The grace to know that everything we have is because we have received them. The grace to understand that when we share what we have, we are not deprived of things. It is in giving that we acknowledge that the other person is important, and that my-our own well being is not the only thing that is important. Others are important as well. And we are or should be the hands of God to help them.
Just remember the gifts we share are not or should not be exclusively material gifts. Every material gift has to be accompanied by a spiritual gift; our prayers for those who need help, our compassion, understanding, and sharing our education and faith. The spiritual work of mercy is some times forgotten, but is also important and some times more difficult than giving food, clothing, etc. These are the things that we all need to work on:
Counseling the doubtful: Everyone has moments of doubt in their faith journey. Nevertheless, we should always remember that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and turn to Him along our way.
Instructing the ignorant: Learn about our faith and be open to talking with others about our beliefs. There is always something more to discover about our faith.
Admonishing the sinner: Do not judge, but be supportive in helping others find their way and correct their mistakes. Together we can learn to walk more closely with Christ.
Comforting the sorrowful: Be open to listening and comforting those who are dealing with grief. Even if we aren’t sure of the right words to say, our presence can make a big difference.
Forgiving injuries: Forgiving others is difficult at times because we do not have God’s limitless mercy and compassion. But Jesus teaches us that we should forgive as God forgives, relying on him to help us show others the mercy of God.
Bearing wrongs patiently: Do not be bitter about wrongs done against you. Place your hope in God so that you can endure the troubles of this world and face them with a compassionate spirit.
Praying for the living and the dead: Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we can support others. Joining together in prayer for the living and the dead entrusts us all into God’s care.