Beautiful Mercy Reflections

Why are we doing this anyway? Well, this time of the year is a time of preparation. We bake cookies, decorate the house, put up the tree and the lights, buy and wrap presents, send Christmas cards, and do countless other preparations. But do we prepare our hearts? . . .

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And so I found myself standing in front of about eighty men in the San Quentin prison chapel, unsure of how my talk would be received. I didn’t know . . .

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The key is to recover what it means to be merciful in our communication of truth. Many loudly declare that the mere proclamation of truth is . . .

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One summer when I was a kid, my parents charged me with staining our deck and fence. My dad bought the stain, the brushes, the rolls, and every other little thing I needed to . . .

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If burying the dead is so agonizing, why do we do it? We live in a world where hunger is a daily reality for nearly 800 million people (World Food Programme). But how do I . . .

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Affliction comes in many forms. We don’t wear our heartache as visible, outward wounds, but we all know how much pain is out there. In the midst of a sin-saturated world, people need . . .

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Mercy is one of those theological concepts that seem pretty abstract. I know I have experienced mercy from God and from others. I also know there are . . .

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Clothe the naked. In this corporal work of mercy, Jesus calls us to do something—not simply to talk about it, not to study it, not to establish a committee . . .

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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 . . .

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Who sits on the throne of your heart? Just before she died, Saint Joan of Arc wrote: “I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people . . .

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We will all be called upon at one time or another to impart “facts” and knowledge about the truths of our faith. But as the saying goes, “More is caught than taught.” Communicating this spiritual . . .

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Willingly is not the same thing as easily. First, it means that a person is not forced into choosing forgiveness because of a lack of options. We can probably all think of situations in which we were forced to . . .

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Several years ago, as I stood in line for the sacrament of confession about to confess for the umpteenth time a sin I couldn’t seem to quit, I began to fear that God’s mercy was running out. I didn’t doubt that God would pardon a person who turned to him . . .

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When I ponder Christ’s preaching on the works of mercy in Matthew 25, my mind goes immediately to water, to access, and to sanitation. I know from my work with relief agencies that every dollar we spend on this problem yields . . .

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Saint Paul the Apostle took great care with those he called the “weak in faith.” He told Christians to bend over backward to accommodate them and not scandalize them. He determined to be . . .

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I love hearing stories from people who have been in the presence of great saints, like Mother Teresa or John Paul II. People say things like, “When we talked, nothing else seemed to matter to him,” or . . .

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Most of us are not gravediggers or funeral directors, but many—if not all—of us have had the challenging, sometimes unpredictable, and emotionally draining job of burying the dead . . .

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Rarely and with few exceptions are we able to actually open the doors of our own homes and bring in the homeless. But we are able to see to it that they do have a “home.” We can also . . .

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When it comes to the spiritual works of mercy, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate time to act. For the corporal works, it is pretty easy, right? You will . . .

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Another translation of this work of mercy is to “comfort” the sick. In all cases, the first step is reaching out to those in need. Whether they are physically ailing or . . .

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When you look at people who are successful at anything, they have great habits. You know, you often hear people say, “Well the secret to my success was this,” or, “The secret to my success was that.” But the reality . . .

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Our entire Dynamic Catholic team has been praying for you this Advent. We have been praying that God’s mercy touches your heart in a way that transforms you and helps . . .

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