Bringing Jesus to a Broken World!
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
Continuing Our Journey
Throughout each of our individual journeys with the Lord, we are all put in unique situations that make the personal “call to holiness” a challenge. For some it is periodic lapses in faith, others experience the bombardment of temptation from the Evil One and others have personal afflictions and sufferings that attack their energy and self-images. In each of these cases, and in many others, those concerned are often paralyzed and feel alone.
The Eucharist Is the Greatest Miracle
We Catholics know that the most important place to bring our pains and hurts is to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In Mass we have a personal experience of the greatest miracle in our time—simple bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. To strengthen this point, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." (CCC 1374) From God calling to us in the Liturgy of the Word of God to our personal experience with Jesus in Liturgy of the Eucharist, we are enlivened to take Jesus’ soul and divinity to a broken world.
Bringing Jesus to a Broken World
So, how can those of us who suffer and are not able to carry out active lifestyles bring this Blessed Sacrament to our decaying culture? How can we to make the Risen Christ the center of our lives? This can be done in many ways. Of course, prayer is vital, as well as, the unquestionable importance of receiving the Sacraments on a regular basis. As a struggling humanity cries out in pain, those who listen hear the call of God to an unconditionally loving relationship with God.
One of the best ways of focusing what energy God has given us during our pain and suffering is to do Jesus’ saving works through the Spiritual Works of Mercy. While the many others have the power and energy to enliven our world through good deeds and actions like the Corporal Works of Mercy, those who suffer can reach out spiritually.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
The Spiritual Works as defined in the Catechism (CCC 2447) are:
Convert the Sinner. We contribute in work of the Holy Spirit by prayerfully pointing persons toward God, especially our families and friends.
Instruct the Ignorant. How we live our lives teaches all s how we love God, sometime we may even use words.
Counsel the Doubtful. Loving starts with caring for one another’s souls. So, helping others who have a crisis in faith strengthens our faith.
Comfort the Sorrowful. Those who suffer and deal with their our own situations, are uniquely qualified to bring comfort of Jesus to others.
Bear Wrongs Patiently. Turning the other cheek is very countercultural in our world today. It has the power to transform.
Forgive Injuries. In order to create a better world for others, we need to unburden ourselves of those things that can damage our own relationships. We truly need to let go of old injuries and make room for God instead.
Pray for the Living and the Dead. Take a minute of intercessory prayer for those who have died and those who are also on a journey with God.
The Future Journey
During the next months, I will reflect on the special characteristics of each of the Spiritual Works of Mercy in an effort to show the power that can flow from the powerless. Our objective will be to grow in holiness by developing the Spiritual Works of Mercy as a habit. We will work on creating a Christ-centered lifestyle focused on totally giving to others
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- Are the Spiritual Works of Mercy part of my spiritual life? How can I call them out of others whom I serve, especially the broken?
- Which of the Spiritual Works of Mercy do I have the most difficulty bearing to brothers and sisters in my ministry?
From a Family Perspective:
- In my Domestic Church, as parent, sibling, widow or single, how can I use the Spiritual Works of Mercy to strengthen our personal and spiritual relationships?
- Which Spiritual Works of Mercy are most needed by my Domestic Church in order to grow closer as a family?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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