Mercy for the Month of February:
VISIT THE SICK
Each month during the Year of Mercy we will highlight one or two of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. We receive so many blessings from the Lord, the outpouring of His mercy and love. We share that mercy and love with others in corporal, or material ways, as well as in spiritual ways. When St. Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, one of the things he commended them to do was to "bear one another’s burdens." (6:2) Life, at times, has its difficulties – and it is important that we not face them alone, but help one another as we carry our crosses. Even Jesus, as He bore His Cross, had Simon help Him carry it, Veronica to wipe His face, the women of Jerusalem to simply weep with Him, and His mother’s constant presence. This is a Spiritual Work of Mercy. It is much easier to do something, but this mercy is a ministry of presence, as we accompany those experiencing the sufferings of life. When we comfort the afflicted, we extend our love to others in a tangible way. These are our brothers and sisters—and Jesus Christ invites us to share with them from the mercies that we have received.
MERCY IN ACTION
There are countless ways that in your own life, through our parish ministries or in our local community you can Visit the Sick. We have individuals who serve as Homebound Ministers, visiting those who are sick or those unable to come to Mass and taking them the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a great gift, but so too is the personal visit. We have a Medical Closet with supplies that individuals donate to help those in time of need. Our Shoulder to Shoulder Ministry has a list of those who are willing to cook a meal for those have a difficult time after a surgery, a death, the birth of a child or just a time of need. Each and every First Saturday Mass we pray for those who are sick and anoint those who are gravely ill or advanced in years. Come and pray for these, or think of those in your own life who are sick, who can’t leave home as often as they would like — and visit them. Volunteer at or stop by a nursing home or an assisted living facility just to visit and say hello, to help with games or activities, to get to know your brothers and sisters there. While we often think of physical illness, it is important too to remember sickness of the soul—spiritual illness. Who is spiritually ill that you can visit and comfort?
How are you Merciful like the Father?
Isabel was born in 1586, and her beauty was remarked by so many that she scarred her own face with lye in order to detract her suitors. She took the name of Rose as her Confirmation name, retaining a far deeper and greater beauty. She had one love in her life, and espoused herself to Him: Jesus Christ. She became a Third Order Dominican—not entering a convent, but living in the world. Her family resisted all of this, and tried to dissuade her. Her life was one of many penances. She also took time to visit the sick and care for them. Toward the end of her short 31 years, she lived for a few years in a government official’s house, and there set up a room to which she brought and cared for orphans, the elderly and those who were sick.
PATRON SAINT OF THE MONTH: ST. ROSE OF LIMA
“Apart from the Cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”