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2016 in the Catholic Church is devoted to the Works of Mercy.

On Friday last Pope Francis met with the CEO of Google in the morning and in the afternoon paid a surprise unanticipated visit to a retirement home on the outskirts of Rome and spent an hour with the 30 residents. He intends to make these 'Mercy Fridays' during the year. He spoke about our modern 'throwaway culture' and about the great value that the elderly should have in the church and in society. He also visited patients in a vegetative state and their carers at a nearby facility.

Asked if the traditional Works of Mercy remain relevant today, he replied:

"They are still valid, still current. Perhaps some aspects could be better “translated,” but they remain the basis for self-examination. They help us open up to the mercy of God. Let us examine the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, dress the naked, house the pilgrims, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead. I do not think there is much to explain. We have received freely, we give freely".


WOW, now THAT is what's called a ssurprise visit !! How very kind of him to set the example by putting actions to his words.
Yes. Not just words. I would find it hard to do myself.

Edited at 2016-01-17 18:41 (UTC)
those works of mercy are more needed than ever
so many hungry, thirsty, shivering in the cold with no place to go for shelter

sick, imprisoned, dead

and it is not asked
are you politically ok?
which side are you on?
are you legal?
are you on the run?

because those most in need don't always have the "right" answers to those questions

Having to be homeless and sleeping rough has become very common in Ireland nowadays since the financial crash some years ago. The Capuchin food kitchen is now catering for thousands daily in Dublin.
homelessness is a double edge problem here in the US

with cold weather there are intense efforts to get homeless into shelters
but some of the homeless are mentally ill and fearful
we closed our large warehouse mental institutions years ago which was a good thing but substitute services have not been provided for those who most need them

other homeless due to economic causes find insufficient solutions
homeless shelters are no place to raise a family

the works of mercy need political applications
voting for candidates with real answers is a work of mercy
Such beautiful and challenging words from the Pope. I thank you for this central reminder.
Ironically, the pope would make a pretty good shaman...
It really isn't rocket science if one claims to be a Christian, is it? :o)