Instruct the ignorant. Counsel the doubtful. Admonish the sinner. Bear wrongs patiently. Forgive wrongs willingly. Comfort the afflicted. Pray for the living and the dead. The spiritual works of mercy. OK, so maybe this list is a little daunting. But look at the big picture.
The spiritual works of mercy are paired, quite appropriately, with the corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, etc.). This is because the Church wholeheartedly embraces the totality of the human person, body, mind and soul. It boils down to caring for someone’s soul being an essential element of almsgiving.
How to do that? Start small. For example, many Catholic parishes host the Stations of the Cross on each Friday throughout Lent. Check out local parish websites, find the times, and invite someone to go with you. Maybe you can even talk about your respective Lenten journeys afterward. With God’s grace, it will be fruitful.
Each week during Lent I am sharing a quick tip on each of the three disciplines of the season: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. So tune in throughout the coming weeks for more ideas! I hope this third week of Lent is fruitful!
Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.