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Tag: Spiritual Works of Mercy

Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

November 1, 2018 4 Comments
Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, but more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to […]

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Rediscovering a Lost Work of Mercy: Admonishing the Sinner

September 9, 2018 5 Comments
Rediscovering a Lost Work of Mercy: Admonishing the Sinner

In the first reading from Mass for Monday of the 23rd week, St. Paul is practically livid that the Corinthians have not sought to correct and discipline an erring brother who is indulging in illicit sexual union. He orders them to act immediately lest the brother be lost on the day of judgment. The current […]

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Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

November 2, 2017 5 Comments
Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, but more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to […]

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The Obligation of Clear, Compassionate Correction of the Sinner – A Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

September 9, 2017 4 Comments
The Obligation of Clear, Compassionate Correction of the Sinner – A Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

We live in times in which there is a widespread notion that to correct sinners is to “judge” them. Never mind that it is sin that we judge, not the sinner. Never mind that in accusing us of judging, the worldly-minded are themselves doing the very judging they condemn. Never mind any of that; the […]

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Pray for the Living and the Dead – A Meditation on the Seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy

June 15, 2015 13 Comments
Pray for the Living and the Dead – A Meditation on the Seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy

What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to pray […]

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Forgive All Injuries – A Meditation on the Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy

June 9, 2015 13 Comments
Forgive All Injuries – A Meditation on the Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy

Of all the things about which I preach, very few (if any) provoke as strong (and usually negative) a reaction as the call to forgive. I get more angry pushback after a Mass at which I preach on forgiveness than when I speak about chastity, greed, or any other challenging moral topic. It would seem that the anger is rooted in […]

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Bear Wrongs Patiently – A Meditation on the 5th Spiritual Work of Mercy

June 1, 2015 21 Comments
Bear Wrongs Patiently – A Meditation on the 5th Spiritual Work of Mercy

Here is  perhaps the most revolutionary of the Spiritual works of mercy. It is the one tied most directly to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. To decide to bear wrongs patiently is nothing less than to declare a revolution and to wage a very paradoxical counteroffensive against this world and its economy of anger. There […]

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Comfort the Sorrowful – A Consideration of the Fourth Spiritual Work of Mercy

May 19, 2015 13 Comments
Comfort the Sorrowful – A Consideration of the Fourth Spiritual Work of Mercy

The fourth Spiritual Work of Mercy is to “comfort the sorrowful.” Sometimes it is listed as to “comfort the afflicted.” This description broadens the work just a bit and also fits more with the original notion of the word “comfort,” as we shall consider in a moment. But of all the spiritual works of mercy, comforting […]

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