Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Teachings of the Lord, Works of Mercy

The corporal works of mercy, apart from the spiritual works of mercy, feed but half man's hunger.

From the Imitation of Christ: "The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ...He is truly great who has great charity (divine Love). He is truly great who is little in his own eyes and makes nothing of the highest honor. He is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ. He who does God's will and renounces his own is truly very learned."---Thomas ' Kempis

--->The Sermon on the Mount...(click) [The proclamation of the Kingdom. Quite long to include in one Post, but most critical of all things here, from which all these other teachings flow)

The Corporal Works of Mercy

1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the Homeless
5. Visit the imprisoned
6. Visit the sick
7. Bury the dead

"The works of mercy are opposite the works of war"---Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin

Again, The Imitation of Christ:

"Without charity [God's Love] external work is of no value, but anything done in charity, be it ever so small and trivial, is entirely fruitful inasmuch as God weighs the love with which a man acts rather than the deed itself. He does much who loves much. He does much who does a thing well. He does well who serves the common good rather than his own interests...

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

1. Admonish the sinner
2. Instruct the ignorant
3. Counsel the doubtful
4. Comfort the sorrowful
5. Bear wrongs patiently
6. Forgive all injuries
7. Pray for the living and the dead

"When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays...Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth...If man had but a spark of true charity he would surely sense that all the things of earth are full of vanity.---Thomas a' Kempis

St. Therese of Lisieux wrote:

"JESUS DEIGNED TO teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers. And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.---from The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux

--->The Lord's teaching on the Sheep
and the Goats...(click) [and our eternal destiny]

Who of Us Can Boast? "The goods which come directly from God, inspirations of the mind and heart, profound thoughts, all these are a form of riches to which we are attached as if they were ours, and which no one has the right to touch..." and from this, she says, arises egoism and dissensions---Therese of Lisieux, emphasis added

"IT IS good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men."---Imitation of Christ

Charity and truth are inseparable (Eph 4:15)

--->Beyond 'the god of my understanding...'

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