During dinner in the monastic refectory on Ash Wednesday, we listened to a reading of Pope Francis’ Lenten Address. The Holy Father reminds us that love alone is the answer to our “yearning for infinite happiness." And so we must be vigilant “to open the doors of our hearts to Christ who knocks on them in the poor."
Through acts of mercy and charity we touch “the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering." In the corporal works of mercy we touch Christ in those “who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited.” And in “the spiritual works of mercy - counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer,” we care for Christ as well. Both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy are essential for us as Christians.
As we reach out to those who are poor and suffering in our midst, we may come to understand that as sinners we are all poor and desperately in need of the mercy of Christ.
Photo by Brother Brian.