Thursday, January 28, 2010

In my Wednesday night Catholic Faith Study this week, we were discussing the Corporal Works of Mercy which can be found in Matthew 25:31-46. After reading this it really hits home how much is expected of us. Do I Feed the hungry, Give drink to the thirsty, Clothe the naked, Shelter the homeless, Visit the sick, Visit those in prison, Bury the dead? And then there are the Spiritual Works of Mercy which include; Admonish sinners, Instruct the ignorant, Counsel the doubtful, Comfort the sorrowful, Bear wrongs patiently, Forgive injuries, and Pray for the living and the dead.
These are based on the teaching of Christ and on Church practice since apostolic times. The spiritual works of mercy are oriented toward the soul. The corporal works of mercy are oriented toward the body.

I purchased a
Brown Scapular today which included an attached Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict. In the package was a paper with the Rule of St. Benedict. It seemed ironic that I would run across this today in light of last nights lesson. This takes the Works of Mercy to a whole new level. Only through daily prayer, the Grace of God and the Intercession of the Holy Spirit can I achieve these things.

The Rule of St. Benedict (For Daily Living)

This rule of St. Benedict should be followed by all to guide us in our daily lives. Morals are the foundation upon which a country rises to great heights. Take away morals, and countries, leaders, and individuals fall. All should wear or carry this most highly indulgenced and exorcised medal: -The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict-

It is written: Do all things with counsel, and thy deeds shall not bring thee repentance.

  • In the first place, to love the Lord God with all one’s heart, all one’s soul and all one’s strength.
  • Then one’s neighbor as oneself.
  • Then not to kill. Not to commit adultery. Not to steal.
  • Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honour all men.
  • Not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
  • To deny oneself, in order to follow Christ.
  • To chastise the body. Not to seek soft living. To love fasting.
  • To relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick.
  • To bury the dead. To help the afflicted. To console the sorrowing. To avoid worldly conduct.
  • To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.
  • Not to yield to anger. Not to nurse a grudge.
  • Not to hold guile in one’s heart.
  • Not to make a feigned, (false show of), peace. not to forsake charity.
  • Not to swear, lest perchance one forswear oneself. (to swear falsely)
  • To utter truth from heart and mouth. Not to render evil for evil.
  • To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to oneself.
  • To love one’s enemies.
  • Not to render cursing for cursing, but rather blessing.
  • To bear persecution for justice sake.
  • Not to be proud. Not a wine bibber, (habitual drinker).
  • Not a glutton. Not somnolent, (inclined to sleep).
  • Not slothful. Not a grumbler.
  • Not a detractor, (slanderer). To put ones hope in God.
  • To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in oneself.
  • But to recognize always that the evil is one’s own doing, and to impute it to oneself.
  • To fear the day judgment. To dread Hell.
  • To keep constant guard over the actions of one’s life.
  • To desire eternal life with all spiritual longing.
  • To keep death daily before one’s eyes.
  • To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
  • When evil thoughts come into one’s heart, to dash them at once on the rock of Christ and to manifest them to one’s spiritual advisor (confessor).
  • To keep one’s mouth from evil and depraved talk.
  • Not to love much speaking.
  • Not to speak vain words or such as move to laughter.
  • To listen gladly to holy reading.
  • To apply oneself frequently to prayer.
  • Daily in one’s prayer, with tears and sighs, to confess one’s past sins to God. To amend those sins for the future.
  • Not to fulfill the desires of the the flesh. To hate one’s own will.
  • Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy, but first to be holy, that one may more truly be called so.
  • To fulfill God’s commandments daily in one’s deeds.
  • To love chastity. To hate no man.
  • Not to be jealous. Not to give way to envy.
  • Not to love contention, (conflict). To shun vainglory, (boastfulness).
  • To reverence the old. To love the young.
  • To pray for one’s enemies in the love of Christ.
  • To make peace with one’s adversary before sundown.
  • And never despair of God’s mercy.

Behold these are the tools of the spiritual craft. If we employ them unceasingly day and night, and on the day of judgement render account of them, then we shall receive from the Lord in return that reward which He Himself has promised: Eye has not seen nor ear heard, what God hath prepared for those that love Him.


Anonymous said...

You hit on something I meant to say last night, Julie. Basically what the "General Judgment" consists of is the Spiritual and Corporal "works of mercy."

There was so many comments (really good stuff, too) that I did not want to interupt! :)

Posting the "Rule of St. Benedict" here is a great idea. Once again, we rarely hear so much of this - so, we have to teach ourselves.


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