God’s mercy for us is abundant. It is extended to us in spite of the fact that we are sinners. We do nothing to earn it. But we are mandated to extend it to others.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7), says Scripture. We are required to be non-judgmental and compassionate to all those in need. We are to forgive everyone at all times. This is the essence of mercy.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Mercy is considered a moral virtue.
It is expressed in what is considered corporal and spiritual works. Corporal works of mercy include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, ransoming the captive, and burying the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy include instructing the ignorant, advising the doubtful, correcting sinners, showing patience to sinners, willingly forgiving offences, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.
The Sisters of Providence’s mission is committed to performing works of love, mercy, and justice. Saint Theodora and the sisters did, and continue to do, all of these things. Their ministries consist of working with the poor, hungry, needy, and imprisoned. They teach both academics and our faith. They comfort those in need.
And Saint Theodore was an incredible example of forgiveness. Numerous people, including those who were to assist her work in America, treated her poorly. They often obstructed her ministries. However, she quickly and continuously forgave them. Nothing prevented her from what she believed was God’s work and her gratitude for God’s mercy toward her.
She wrote, “As to myself in particular, I cannot cease admiring the merciful ways of God. Thank him for us and beseech Him, let me repeat it, that we may become daughters according to His Heart. “
©2014, Mary K. Doyle