Monday, March 7, 2016

Works of Mercy

The Mystery within...
Two friends and I were honored to be dinner guests of two retired nuns this past weekend, Sr. Sylvia and Sr. Mary Alyce.  In addition to their wonderful home cooked meal, an opening prayer in honor of the coming International Women's day on March 8 enriched our evening.  A part of our little ceremony was naming a woman who brought positive influence into our life.  Without hesitation I named my late crone friend Rosemary to whom I dedicated "God Never Hurries."  Lively conversation continued throughout the evening and when we left we were each given several copies of a book Sister Mary Alyce wrote about the foundress of their order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger.  She said she sold enough copies to pay her publishing costs and now she just wanted us to give her book away so more could read, "Memories of Franziska—Franziska Huber Gerhardinger September 5, 1762 – July 8, 1843" who was Mary Theresa's mother and through whom Mary Alyce relates the founding of their order.  I had previously read her book and what stood out for me was the expectation that Mary Theresa would care for her aging mother.  But instead she got her excellent care and went on to found the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  Also accompanying the book was a card announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy on which is written the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. 

 Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy

Instruct the ignorant
Counsel the doubtful
Admonish sinners
Bear wrongs patiently
Forgive offenses willingly
Comfort the afflicted
Pray for the living and the dead

I remembered the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy from the 1943 Baltimore Catechism.  What I have since learned about the historical Jesus made the editor in me want to make some changes to the Spiritual Works of Mercy.  

Grow in grace and wisdom
Share your beliefs
Invite positive change
Bear wrongs patiently
Forgive offenses willingly
Be present to the afflicted
Pray for the living and to the dead

What if all of our beliefs were subject to intellectual and spiritual maintenance?


  1. In a word - FANTASTIC.

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    1. Thanks Mirabile Dictu. Good to hear from you again.

  2. I am continually amazed by the amount of information available on this subject. What you presented was well researched and well worded in order to get your stand on this across to all your readers. mercy

  3. Dear Star, Thank you for your kind words. We all need affirmation from time to time and I truly appreciate yours.