Sunday after Pentecost
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
24th November 2013
beatitudes are gospel in miniature form, the works of mercy
we may say are the gospel in action. St. James reminds us
that 'faith without works is dead'. It will profit us little
to say with our lips that we love Christ when we don't show
it by our example. Hence this week I would like to focus a
little upon the spiritual works of mercy as well explained
by the Baltimore Catechism for our benefit.
spiritual works of mercy are seven: to admonish the sinner,
to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to
comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive
all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.
the sinner - If we love our neighbour we should help him
in his distress, even when it is an inconvenience to us. We
should help him also to correct his faults, we should point
them out and warn him of them. We are obliged to do so in
the following circumstances: First, when his fault is a
mortal sin. Second, when we have some authority or influence
over him. Third, when there is reason to believe that our
warning will make him better instead of worse. If our advice
only makes him worse, then we should not say anything to him
about his fault, but keep out of his company ourselves.
Ignorant - Especially in their religion, but in whatever
is necessary to help them to be better Christians.
Doubtful - Regarding a spiritual matter that will help
give them clarity and peace of mind.
sorrowful - Saying kind words of encouragement to them
and being there for them in the time of trial. Bear Wrongs
patiently - Things not deserved; for example, persons
talking ill about us, accusing us falsely, etc.; but if the
false accusations, etc., are going to give scandal, then we
must defend ourselves against them. If, for instance, lies
were told about the father of a family, and it were likely
all his children would believe them and lose their respect
for his authority, then he must let them know the truth. But
when we patiently suffer wrongs that injure only ourselves,
and that are known only to God and ourselves, God sees our
sufferings and rewards us. What matters it what people think
we are if God knows all our doings and is pleased with them?
the Living and the dead - Especially praying for the
conversion of sinners, or for those who are on their
deathbed. Praying for the dead - those suffering in
Purgatory, especially if we have ever caused them to sin and
those we are indebted to pray for and those who have no one
to pray for them.
Blessed are the
merciful for they shall be shown mercy !!