Christian Service News 8-6-2017
“Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” (Catechism, 2834)
Each year, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan collaborates with the Christian Service Coordinators and Christian Service Commissions in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit to set aside one day of the year where all of us can volunteer a few hours of our time to help the needy and marginalized of our world. The seven Corporal Works of Mercy and the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy provide the basis for deciding what work we can do to help our neighbor. Some parishes choose one large project, while others choose a small one or perhaps multiple projects depending perhaps on the number of volunteers they expect to participate that day. This year our Mercy in Action Service Day will be October 14. Our parish has been working with Our Lady of LaSalette, Shrine, Guardian Angels, and St. Vincent Ferrer to join together to celebrate this event. St. Mary will be the host parish where everyone will meet and everything will begin. At 8am, we will begin “Welcoming the Strangers,” (a Corporal Work of Mercy), while everyone is checking-in, picking up their tee shirt, and snacking on some light breakfast items provided by Clark’s White Glove Delivery, a member of our parish. At 8:30 in St. Mary church, there will be an opening prayer to ask Jesus to bless everyone that will be doing His work of service, keep them safe and bless the people we will be serving. From 9 to 10:30am, Eucharistic Adoration will be available. During this time, the rosary will also be said. Praying together is fitting for this day because at some point in our lives, all of us suffer deficiencies in our spiritual lives just as much as in our physical lives. The seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy is to “Pray” by imploring the help of God. While many of us are praying in Church, beginning at 9am, others will be volunteering in the Fellowship Center, in the School lunchroom or working offsite at Mary’s Mantle, Sanctum House or Mary’s Children Center. The goal is be done with all projects by 12 noon.
I would like to focus a little time this week on the Spiritual Work of Mercy commonly known as “Pray.” This work of mercy includes praying for both the living and the dead. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2560, states: “Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.” The Catechism, 2564, states that “Christian prayer is a covenant relationship with God and man in Christ.” When we pray for a living person, they are placed under the loving sight of God and His blessing is invoked upon that person sustaining them on the path of life. (See Ephesians 1:3- 14). Of course, we should not expect that every request of ours will be fulfilled; but through intercessory prayer our requests may be included in the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught us, “Thy will be done…on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10) Still have you ever tried to live even one day without praying? Seems every time I encounter some difficulty, I call upon God to help me. Prayer is the bridge that connects us to God. Through prayer we can ask him for bread (both physical and spiritual), forgiveness and help to avoid sin when tempted. In summary, I think the Spiritual Work of Mercy, “Pray,” sustains all the works of mercy and it, therefore, makes sense that this one should be the seventh one, the last of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. (Parts of this text are based on The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy book by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, pages 59-61)
I do look forward to seeing you and sharing some time in prayer together, at this year’s Mercy in Action Day, October 14.
May the Lord bless all of you for everything you do to support the St. Mary parish community?
George Krinke, your Christian Service Coordinator