Peter's Clinic

Lenten Series: The Works of Mercy Part IX--Closing Thoughts

One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part IX, which discusses some final thoughts on the works of mercy.

There is a certaininterconnectedness between the works of mercy. For example, if we intend to admonish sinners, we must be also prepared to instruct the ignorant (many sinners "know not what they do"), and equally prepared to bear wrongs patiently (many people lack the good graces to accept just admonishments with docility). Likewise, if we harbor the harborless in the sense of sheltering a refugee, we should be prepared to provide him with food and drink at the least.

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