Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spiritual Works of Mercy

IN this current time of global crisis, many who have lost hope and despair forget there is a 'home' to which we can abide in, a place of comfort, and a refuge to flee the troubles of the world, while at the same time embrace the world and assist in it's transformation. When one commits themselves to prayer and to a contemplative life, it is motivated by a deeply compassionate desire to be in the wold, but not of it.

The one who who has entered into the hear of humanity through prayer is actually practicing being in the presence of God and then through being a part of humanity sharing this presence in a very profound way. One would think that by becoming solitary and living such a life that 'aloneness was an abandonment of the rest of the world. Instead it is embracing the world.

A second observation regarding being a contemplative in this 21st century: As Christian, we speak a lot about the corporal works of mercy, while at the same time unintentionally play down the equally important spiritual works of mercy. The one committed to contemplative prayer has a special role in supporting and promoting the spiritual works of mercy:

To comfort the sorrowful
To counsel the doubtful
To instruct the ignorant
To admonish sinners
To bear wrongs patiently
To forgive offenses willingly
To comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable
To pray for the living and the dead

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