Fr. Rick’s Pastoral Messages 12/3/20
In your Advent Reflections and Prayer, please consider the Spiritual Works of Mercy as presented by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. Listed below are the first 3 of 7. The remaining four will be included in next week’s bulletin and messages.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
The Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history. Just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those he ministered to, these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to “help our neighbor in their spiritual needs” (USCCA).
Three of the Spiritual Works of Mercy are listed below. After each work of mercy there are also suggestions and words of advice for living them out in our daily lives. Have your own suggestions? Let us know @USCCB using the hashtag #mercyinmotion!
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.
- Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may eventually become wise” (Prov 19:20)
- The Cross of Christ “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25)
- Has someone asked you for advice? Orient your response to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
- Follow Christ with the witness of your life so that others may see God’s love revealed in your actions
- Accompany a friend who is struggling with believing to join a parish group for service or faith formation, share a book you found useful in dealing with your friend’s faith concern, and worship at Sunday Mass
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.
- Go on a service trip or short term mission trip. No time? Donate to support someone on their service trip
- Volunteer to help with religious education programs at your parish
- Invite someone to go to mass with you this weekend
- Know your faith! Read through the USCCA to find out more about the Catholic faith and how to live it
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.
- In humility we must strive to create a culture that does not accept sin, while realizing that we all fall at times
- Don’t judge, but guide others towards the path of salvation (see Mt 7:1-2)
- When you correct someone, don’t be arrogant. We are all in need of God’s loving correction.
- We should journey together to a deeper understanding of our shared faith
- “Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:5)