Texts for Reflection
• Points 27 and 31.2 of the pastoral letter of Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, 14 February 2017:
27. Following the constant teaching of the Church, the experience of Saint Josemaría and the example and words of Pope Francis, we should emphasize the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in the Saint Raphael and Saint Gabriel means of formation. Personal activities and initiatives in the area of solidarity, service to those in need, and social responsibility are not something passing or marginal, but rather are at the very heart of the Gospel. Gaining a deeper understanding of the Church’s social doctrine through activities like classes and lectures will especially help in situations where there is greater social inequality.
31.2 Along with these priorities, I would like to emphasize the urgency that we all feel of enlarging our hearts – we ask God to give us hearts to his measure – so that there enter into it all the needs, pains and sufferings of the men and women of our time, especially the weakest. In today’s world, poverty presents many faces: sick and elderly people treated with indifference, the loneliness felt by many abandoned people, the drama of refugees, and the destitution in which a large part of mankind lives, often as a result of injustices that cry out to Heaven. I know that all my daughters and all my sons will exercise “the creativity of charity” (Saint John Paul II, Novo millennio ineunte, 6 January 2001, no. 50) in order to bring the balm of God’s tenderness to all our brothers and sisters who are in need. “A friend of ours used to say: 'The poor are my best spiritual book and the main motive of my prayers. It pains me to see them, and in each one of them, Christ. And because it hurts, I realize I love Him and love them'” (Furrow, no. 827).
• Bishop Javier Echevarria, Podcasts on the Works of Mercy
Just Start is an eleven-video series whose aim is to highlight the importance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy by presenting the testimonies of more than 100 people from 12 different countries. The series, produced for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, seeks to help make Pope Francis' desire a reality: that we Christians may contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.