The Rachel Dawes character in the 2005 Batman Begins says, "it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you." St. Thomas Aquinas in his 1270 Summa theologiae says, "External acts belong to that virtue which regards the motive for doing those acts." While they are not saying exactly the same thing, they are pretty close. If you and I want to label ourselves good persons, then we will do good things.
When we do good to someone who is in need, that is what we call an act of mercy. Another word for giving mercy to someone is granting them relief. Mercy, aid, relief, these are all great words that get us thinking about how we help our neighbors. The Church has this great set of actions that provide mercy, aid, help, and relief to those in need that we call the spiritual and corporal acts of mercy. Some of them are intuitive, some not so much, all of them are works of mercy. All of them will be acts that we do which reveal the kind of person we are or hope to become.
I will list the works for you today, and then break them down for you in the weeks to come. The corporal works of mercy are 1) feeding the hungry, 2) giving drink to the thirsty, 3) clothing the naked, 4) housing the homeless, 5) visiting the sick, 6) ramsoming the captive, and 7) burying the dead.
Both sets of works of mercy are ways to give mercy, aid, help, and relief to those in need. How are we doing with the works of mercy? I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that in some way or another, each of these works of mercy needs to be part of our life if we want to be who we are called to be. Remember, it isn't good enough just to think about them, or to want to do them, just ask Rachel Dawes or Thomas Aquinas.
Results of the Holy Ghost and St. Bridget's Fantasy Football League: I would like to congratulate Fr. James Kurzynski's "Fighting Pygmies" for his victory in our Fantasy Football League. Bob Springer's "HolyPacker" came in second place. John Abbe's "Thunder" took 3rd. Yours truly's "Mediocre Shepherds" finished proudly in 7th place. Thanks everyone for a great season.
Men's Group: A reminder that Men's Group is back and again meeting Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. Guys, you can still join; the videos we have been watching do a good job at summarizing what was said before.