Pope Francis, in announcing the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, calls each one of us to reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: “Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.” (Misericordiae Vultus, No. 15)
These Reflections on the fourteen works of mercy are meant to help us understand what is going on in our own heart, and give us the fire to be more merciful in our prayers, thoughts and actions. Each work of mercy is not simply a thing to do but also a way to strengthen our spirituality. Spirituality is not simply the things we do when we are at church, but the way we let God seep into every aspect of our lives so that we can be channels of divine mercy flowing out to the world.