Works of Mercy
By Doanh Nguyen
Each day, God gives us sufficient grace to love as He loves and to serve as He serves. Our actions need to authentically reflect His mercy so that our neighbors may also experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church encourages us to understand the practice of merciful love with the Works of Mercy. These come in two forms: Corporal and Spiritual.
The Corporal Works of Mercy come from the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25:35-36. They guide us in helping our neighbors with their material and physical needs. The Corporal Works of Mercy are feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, give alms to the poor, visit the sick, visit the prisoners, and bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs. The Spiritual Works of Mercy are instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offences willingly, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.
At OSU Newman, we encourage college students to live glorifying God’s name through each of these Works of Mercy in both personal and social level. Our ministry provides the opportunities for students to engage in loving service to others, enrich our souls, strengthen fellowship with one another, and delve deeper in relationship with Jesus. Each month, we create opportunities for one Corporal and one Spiritual Works of Mercy events. So far, we have visited the elderly, written letters to the afflicted, and prayed a Rosary for the election. Our goal is to provide simple and minimally time consuming events that are suitable for the student schedule, but encourage growth and perseverance in our faith. In addition, we have weekly challenges so that we can consciously live more like Christ on a personal level. We hope that students will accept the gifts of kindness, love, joy, peace, and patience offered by our Father: to continually practice the Works of Mercy in our daily life for His glory and for the good of our neighbors.
Our ministry organizes the events following the monthly devotions of the Church. In this month of November, dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, we will visit St. Mary’s Cemetery in Corvallis for our next Work of Mercy event on Saturday, November 19. We will clean the cemetery, the sacred place of the faithfully departed, and pray for the Souls who wait to be joined with the Saints. This event will be offered for the souls at St Mary’s and our departed family and friends. We invite you to bring the names or pictures of your departed loved ones and we will pray for them.
Doanh is a senior at OSU in Chemical Engineering. He transferred to OSU last year, and quickly became involved with the Newman Center, going on the Venture retreat in the fall and helping out with the Fragua course in the winter. This year, he is serving on the Leadership Team helping to organize various Works of Mercy throughout the year.