A reflection on question 12 from the pastoral letter by Sheila McCallum, administrative assistant, Catholic Foundation.
Q. What specific activities can you of to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy or to show mercy to your neighbors? What things can your parish, school or organization do to practice the works of mercy?
Opportunities to practice corporal and spiritual works of mercy are right before us daily. Reaching out to others, especially those on the fringes of society – like the disabled and the elderly – is an opportunity to practice mercy that I frequently encounter.
Occasionally people with disabilities walk with their caregivers at an indoor track that I frequently run. Stopping to greet them, learn their names, and make them smile is a way to recognize their dignity.
I also go to the nursing home to visit my dad. I know the names of other residents, and sometimes I hold their hands and talk with them, or pat them on the back and ask how they are. By recognizing those with disabilities and visiting the sick, we can demonstrate God’s mercy and love in a powerful way.
Schools, parishes, and organizations can witness mercy by praying together outside Planned Parenthood during 40 Days, visit nursing homes or group homes, or by giving material assistance to the poor or to a local crisis pregnancy center. We have only to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit who will show us countless ways to show mercy within our day.