Clothe the Naked

January 9, 2016

 Clothe the Naked

“Solidarity presumes the creation of a new mindset which thinks in terms of community and the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few.” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, #188)

Works of Mercy usually begin as acts of charity. Today it is essential that they become acts of justice to effect changes in structures that support poverty.

  • Donate gently used clothing to people in need.
  • Initiate a parish response to provide clothing to persons who are victims of fires and other catastrophes.
  • Purchase clothing from Fair Trade stores.
  • Join efforts to support stores in buying products from companies that pay workers just wages.
  • Contact shelters for a list of articles needed by persons who have taken refuge there.
  • Donate new or gently used baby clothes to organizations that assist pregnant women.
  • Develop the practice of giving away one gently used article of clothing each time a new one is purchased.

Visit the Diocese of Milwaukee website for a full list of suggestions for living out the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Go through your closet and donated the clothes you don’t wear anymore.


“What? Me Worry?”

January 8, 2016

“What? Me Worry?” 

“The word “doubt” comes from the Latin dubium, a word suggesting “two ways”: a fork in the road. We find ourselves wavering between alternatives, and we need to discern which path to take. When the matter is not clear-cut, it is a good idea to ask how others see the question.  The one assurance we have is that if we seek counsel, we will make a more-informed decision.


This suggests the first quality we will need if we are going to counsel the doubtful: we ought to be humble enough to seek advice ourselves. If we consult others when making decisions, we will have a feel for how to give advice to others in a positive way. We will be supportive, not badgering; insightful, not intrusive.


Some counsel is a matter of human prudence. But there is also a God-given counsel, a gift of the Holy Spirit, who guides by a sort of supernatural intuition. We are to share with others this spiritual gift, enabling them to discern whether a decision brings them closer to God or farther away from him.”


To read the full reflection, visit the Jubilee of Mercy website for the Diocese of Oakland.

Today’s Year of Mercy Calendar:  Fast from worrying today.


January 7, 2016
Do you celebrate your baptismal anniversary? If you don’t, you are certainly not alone. While I have a copy of my baptismal certificate safely tucked away with other important papers, without looking at it, I can only remember my baptism occurred sometime during the month of August, 1976. Given I don’t even remember the exact date, it’s a little hard to make an annual celebration out of it.
But baptism is THE event that establishes our beginning of life in Christ, so remembering it annually as we do for birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the like makes perfect sense. As the Catechism states: “Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit” (No. 1213). “Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in baptism” (No. 1266).

Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Find out the date of your baptism. Celebrate that day.

Give it Over

January 6, 2016

Give it Over

“Jesus has authority, and He can handle your problem – so let Him!”  Fr. Larry Richards provides a much-needed reminder that we don’t have to handle our problems on our own.

Do you have a problem that is troubling you?  Spend some time alone with the Lord, and ask him to help you.  He never tires of waiting for you, and is always willing to share your burdens.

Scriptures for a New Year

January 5, 2016

Scriptures for a New Year

During this Year of Mercy, allow these scriptural quotes to transform you:

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:18-19


“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19


“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11


Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  “Fast from Social Media today.”


To Be As One

January 4, 2016

To Be As One

 “ In this Year of Mercy, it is important during January for us to consider, contemplate, and act on Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue.   

Jesus said, “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you

have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.”

“Chiara Lubich is the founder of Focolare, a movement that promotes unity, reconciliation and the spirit of love. In one of her writings she points out: ‘In this world we are all brothers and sisters and yet we pass each other as if we were strangers.’ Too true. Even in our Sunday gatherings we often do not know the people around us. We come and we go. We cling to our own paths too frequently, and seldom know the richness of the people around us; seldom are able to share and celebrate their triumphs; seldom able to share and grieve their losses. And yet, Jesus calls us to be one as he and the Father are one; to be one in knowing each other and loving one another.”  ~ An excerpt from a Paulist blog post by Fr. John Geaney, CSP, May 2015

If you desire to learn more ways to foster healing and reconciliation in and among God’s people, visit the Paulist website.



Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Pray for Christian Unity this week.


Trust in God’s Mercy

January 2, 2016

Trust in God’s Mercy

“Gracious Father,  I thank you for the mercy you have shown in forgiving my sins and for the peace that comes from being reconciled with you and your Church.


O God, you are faithful, and you never abandon those who hope in you.  I know that my redemption from sin and death has been purchased at the cost of your Son’s blood.  In return for this priceless gift, I resolve today to renew my trust in your unfailing mercy.


In times of doubt, when painful memories of past sins threaten to destroy the peace you have given, let the power of your Holy Spirit chase out all self-condemnation and give me greater confidence in your word of pardon.


Teach me to encourage others so they, too, may seek your tender compassion and come to know your peace, which nothing can take away.  I pray this in the name of Jesus, your Son, in whom you have restored me to life.  Amen.”

This prayer of trust is found at the Project Rachel Ministry website, the post-abortion healing ministry of the Catholic Church.



Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Pray at an abortion clinic for the lives lost to abortion.