Seven Ways to Live Out Mercy in Our Lives

Mercy is the greatest attribute in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Both Saint Faustina Kowalska and Saint Pope John Paul II were zealous promoters of the Doctrine of Mercy.

Let us try to live out this wonderful virtue so that we can attain mercy for ourselves. Jesus commanded us: “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” Let us strive to obey this command.

1. Prayer

Let us beg the Lord Jesus for the grace to be merciful. This means that when we have the opportunity to practice mercy towards anybody then we should try immediately to put it into practice. Being hurt and wounded by others is commonplace.

However, to forgive quickly we need the grace of God. This comes through prayer; prayer can attain all graces. When we pray we tap into the very strength of God, a God of Infinite Mercy.

2. Corporal Works of Mercy

Jesus said very clearly: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” Look at your life and the circumstances that God presents to you and the opportunities that you have. Can you feed the hungry? Or give drink to the thirsty? Can you clothe the naked? How about visiting the sick or those detained in prison? Maybe it is within your means to welcome the stranger?

In carrying out any one of these corporal works of mercy we are really helping Jesus. Indeed Jesus is truly present in the poor, the sick, the naked and those who suffer. Let us pray for eyes to see them!

3. Spiritual Works of Mercy

Maybe God is calling you to give counsel to the doubtful or instruct the ignorant? Perhaps God wants you to be patient with those who are difficult. It could be that God wants you to admonish the sinner, to offer fraternal correction to someone who is heading down the wrong path. Maybe you are the only one who has the courage to correct them with love and save them from destruction?

Reflect on who it might be that God is calling you to help in these works of mercy and then be generous in helping. This also you are doing to Jesus!

4. Sacrament of Confession

Take advantage of the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus so ardently desires to inundate us with the grace of His Mercy in the Sacrament of Confession. By humbly and honestly confessing our sins to the priest — the representative of Christ — we are mercifully forgiven all of our sins and we can start a totally new life; we are made anew; we are a new creation.

As the Prophet Isaiah tells us: “Though your sins be red as scarlet, they will be made white as snow.” The devil can fill us with fear; Jesus wants us to have infinite and limitless trust in Him.


5. Be An Apostle of Confession

Take one more step and invite some lost soul, some Prodigal Son or Daughter, some lost sheep and invite him or her back to the Sacrament of Confession. Pave the way! Give them a Church bulletin with the schedule for confessions.

Better yet, take the person to the Church, point out where the confessional is, where the priest is. Give good example, go to Confession as well. Of great importance: provide them with a good examination of conscience to read and prepare before entering the confessional.

All these concrete steps could result in bringing a lost soul back to the faith and the salvation of his or her immortal soul. All of heaven rejoices at one lost sheep returning to the loving embrace of the Good Shepherd! Let us appreciate, approach and promote the Sacrament of God’s Mercy, the Sacrament of Confession.

6. Show Kindness

Of great importance in improving the social fabric is kindness, but especially kindness in the way we speak to each other. A kind word expressed in an opportune time and manner can be of great relief to a person in distress. Apply the Golden Rule that Jesus taught us to your speech: “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” Why not, “Say to others what you would like them to say to you.”

Kindness in speech, as well as in action, is another way of living out mercy in our lives. Saint Francis de Sales puts it this way:  “You can catch more flies with a teaspoon of honey, than with a barrelful of vinegar.” Mean words and expressions will never convert anyone. Kindness will!

7. Our Lady of Mercy

At the conclusion of the recitation of the Rosary we pray the beautiful prayer composed by Blessed Herman the Cripple — the Hail Holy Queen. In it we pray: “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope…” One of the greatest Marian classics ever written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Glories of Mary. This spiritual masterpiece is simply a long but beautiful commentary on the “Hail Holy Queen”.

In conclusion, let us strive to learn more about mercy and pray to be merciful so that when we die we will experience the Infinite Mercy of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. May Our Lady, the Queen of Mercy, attain for all of us this most special grace. “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope…”

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Father Ed Broom is an Oblate of the Virgin Mary and the author of Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary and From Humdrum to Holy. He blogs regularly at Fr. Broom's Blog.

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