GABRIEL'S CLARION (mar1gab.htm)
Ash Wednesday
March 1, 2006
vol 17, no. 47
The Spiritual Works of Mercy

Part Three of Virtue & Vice:
The Outward Expression of Interior Charity

    The Spiritual Works of Mercy must be front and center as we begin Lent. As soldiers of Christ and bearers of the Truth, if we fail to observe and practice the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy then we are, as St. Paul says in this past Sunday's Epistle - "a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal" and have lost the true meaning of charity which must come from the heart beating as one with the Sacred Heart.
      "Our own salvation may very well be judged by how many people we brought with us to Paradise. By our actions and words, we will either bring many to salvation or to perdition. The third possibility is that we will only bring ourselves to the Feast offered by God, in which case we will surely have ignored love of others in the exclusive service of love of self. Simply put, we must see our role as salespeople for God and our own merit may be judged by how many customers we sell on Christ. Unlike the perverted education of this society, our lessons must be firm guides toward God and salvation and not diluted aberrations justifying a move away from God and toward self."

    Having discussed The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy as really being based on spiritual foundations in Part Two, we have seen that the so-called Social Justice, which I covered in Part One, on which these works are based cannot be truly Catholic unless it is founded on those spiritual dimensions. All too often, those Catholic groups and individuals who tolerate, promote, condone, or justify violations of The Ten Commandments by twisting Social Justice are guilty of waving the corporal and ignoring the necessary spiritual foundation of those works. We see religious orders such as The Jesuits and The Sisters of Loretto become so intoxicated with helping the poor and needy that they condone and justify abortion, radical feminism, and sodomite conduct in their perverted and defiant effort to comfort. It is at this juncture that these groups spiral Catholicism as practiced by St. Francis of Assisi into Socialism, Marxism, and Communism.

    Continuing with our series on The Eternal Sevens we move on to The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy.

1. To Admonish the Sinner

    One cannot perform the the works of mercy without being willing to admonish the sinner and warn them out of true charity for the sake of their soul. Of course, one must do this with compassion and love, but one cannot let that compassion and love be seen as the drivel of tolerance that is preached today. Christ did not hug those seeking to stone Mary Magdalene nor joke around with the money peddlers in the Temple. Likewise, despite what twisted Catholics would like to believe, He did not wink at Mary Magdalene and tell her to just be herself either. Too often we are told that we are not fit to judge others and this is true, but this does not mean that we cannot warn them, teach them and guide them and leave the judging to God. Beware anyone who tells you not to judge when you try to help another return on the path to salvation, for he who warns you is working on a commission from the devil.

2. To Instruct the Ignorant

    Given the premise of the first work described above, it becomes evident that in watching each other's back we must become teachers for each other. One of the greatest lies perpetuated by this lost society is the notion that tolerance is a virtue and therefore one cannot respect others if one does not accept them as they are and condone what they do. In the footsteps of Christ and Saint John The Baptist, we each have a duty to speak out against wrong and evil. Sometimes we will need to use gentle tact and other times a loud yell will be needed, but in both cases the objective will be to instruct.

    Our own salvation may very well be judged by how many people we brought with us to Paradise. By our actions and words, we will either bring many to salvation or to perdition. The third possibility is that we will only bring ourselves to the Feast offered by God, in which case we will surely have ignored love of others in the exclusive service of love of self. Simply put, we must see our role as salespeople for God and our own merit may be judged by how many customers we sell on Christ. Unlike the perverted education of this society, our lessons must be firm guides toward God and salvation and not diluted aberrations justifying a move away from God and toward self.

3. To Counsel the Doubtful

    If there is one given in this world, it is that we as imperfect humans will from time to time experience doubt and confusion. We will all get lost on the road and need directions and guidance. True Catholicism requires that we watch each other's back and help each other back on the road to salvation. It is in this regard that most of today's clergy is seriously lacking, for they not only have relinquished their role as guides to salvation, but have become purveyors or perdition instead. In so doing they place the faithful in a precarious position of either seeking salvation "solo" or following the wolf to grandma's house. When nuns and priests distort social justice into promotion and tolerance of evil and sin, they become the wolves instead of the shepherds.

4. To Comfort the Sorrowful

    Sadness and tragedy are all part of life, and the notion that tragedy and misfortune instruct is swallowed most easily when one is not the one suffering the pain. Again, we cannot be true Catholics unless we are there to embrace those suffering in some way. Being a true Catholic means that we reject the idea that "he who cries, cries alone" because following Christ implies seeking discomfort to comfort and not seeking comfort to avoid. How can we dare to ask God's comfort when we readily deny that comfort to others?

5. To Bear Wrongs Patiently

    Personally, this is one of the most difficult tasks for me. Ultimately, the ability to bear wrongs patiently is based on having such a trust in God that one leaves justice to Him and believes that any wrong inflicted on us is the Will of God and must carry some saving grace. The Psalms are a wonderful salve for understanding this and remembering Christ's words to turn the other cheek in bearing all wrongs patiently.

    Patience is a virtue that many are too impatient to practice because they hold grudges that weigh them down in their spiritual journey and prevent them from being true exemplars of all God wills us to be. Yet, at the same time, we must also take great care that no one calumniate us and charge us of a serious crime that is untrue for that can have grave consequences with one's reputation and that is something that should be closely guarded. Remember, God is not looking for a pansy who won't fight back, but prudent soldiers who choose their battles wisely and know their foe.

6. To Forgive All Injuries

    Easily one of the most difficult tasks of being a true Catholic is washing the slate clean of all resentments and hurts. Like Christ, we must be willing to allow the tide of love to wash away the footprints of injury inflicted by others for salvation is found in looking toward God and not back to past injuries. Again, forgiveness does not mean twisted tolerance or mindless acceptance of evil and sin but rather a willingness to see the wound and yet allow that wound to heal. This lost society cannot see that wound to the soul and will inevitably lose eternal salvation if they do not truly understand, see it and do something about it. They will consider you weak if you forgive, but to God it is a sign of strength and those who are consumed with pride will either pretend true forgiveness is not there or even wave it as a badge of honor for human respect rather than doing it for God. When we are tempted not to forgive, we should never forget that Christ forgave even from the Cross. Can we do less?

7. To Pray for the Living and the Dead

    The value of prayer, in descending order, is praying to God, then praying for others, and lastly praying for oneself. If one prays for the living, one is showing immediate mercy, humility, and selflessness that will surely be rewarded by a Wise God. If one prays for the dead, one is showing an awareness of our universal ultimate fate and therefore the kind of humility and appreciation that guides us toward that Heavenly Prize as well.

    While we may have no idea if our prayer is being answered specifically, we can take consolation that it is helping tremendously for God sees and heeds the effects of our efforts. More things are received by prayer than the world can imagine. And the key is that while we are doing our part in the Communion of Saints by praying for those in the Church Militant and Church Suffering, our prayers never fall on deaf hears in the Church Triumphant who are more than willing to intercede on our behalf. In praying for both those alive and those who have passed on, we unite this world to the next and recognize that we will all pass through the veil and we better have our eternal passports in order. Prayer is the perfect preparation.

Conclusion

    Social justice junkies love to twist the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy described in the previous article into some empty, material masks of goodness devoid of sincerity and respect for God. Call it "Humanism." Likewise, even as this society distorts those works, it condemns the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy as some kind of destructive intolerance, radical arrogance, and foolish weakness. One cannot have the Corporal Works of Mercy without the Spiritual Works of Mercy that necessarily accompany and enhance them. In fact, the devil loves to separate these two kinds of works as much as possible for he knows that in this separation lies the harvest of many souls to perdition. In Part Four we will discuss The Seven Deadly Sins.

Gabriel Garnica



    Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.


    Gabriel's Clarion
    Ash Wednesday
    March 1, 2006
    Volume 17, no. 47