Mercy Mondays: Works of Mercy for a pandemic
Below you will find a list of many different ways to participate in spiritual and corporal works of Mercy during this pandemic. These are simple acts that can make a lasting impact during such a difficult time.
Feed the Hungry
- Only take what you need. Whether it’s the granola bars, milk, yes, the toilet paper … just use what you need. Use the supplies in your home carefully. Be aware of your waste. When you need to go to the store, shop prudently. Be creative with what’s on the shelves.
- Say a prayer for people who live with want every day of their lives.
Clothe the Naked
“Put on your strength, O Zion; put on your glorious garments, Jerusalem.” (Is.52:1)
Just as we put on articles of clothing, or people put on ‘airs’, so too we can put on an attitude.
- Vulnerability — we have no control over many things in our lives. Can we allow ourselves and those around us to acknowledge this strange place in time?
- Trust — Whether we are directly impacted by the virus itself, or we are one of the millions of people doing our best to keep ourselves and others safe, we can trust that God is with us, and that we will get through this.
- Patience — with yourself, those you are “social distancing” with, the media, inconveniences, etc.
- A sense of humor — you’ve got to admit; we all could use a good laugh. Just make sure something that is funny to you isn’t hurtful to another.
- Confidence — especially if you are the person people go to for answers. You don’t have to have all the answers; you just need to know that it will be alright in the end.
- What do you need to put on?
Instruct the ignorant
- Stretch yourself creatively and use all the resources you have, help others understand the technology. Think outside your immediate circle of friends. Reach out and offer to talk over an assignment. Ask for help. Share your resources. (Of course, give credit where credit is due!)
- Make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources.
Give drink to the thirsty
- What do you thirst for? Social isolation doesn’t mean you must stay inside. Go for a walk, open your window and get some fresh air. Is there something you always wanted to do? A hobby, visit somewhere….Well with the world at your fingertips you can start researching it now.
- Have you seen the videos of the people in Italy singing? Our souls thirst for comfort. Do you find it in song? Reading scripture. “Chicken Soup” for almost any soul. Drawing, writing.
Pray for the living and the dead
- Of course, you are remembering to pray. Don’t forget to pray for the medical personnel who are helping those who are ill, the businesses who are working to be sure you have essential services, families and friends who are at risk for contracting the virus, the many nameless and faceless people working behind the scenes to keep things going.
- Of course, there are prayers of Thanksgiving for all those who have come through the virus, the technology which keeps us up-to-date, even the packaged and frozen food that allow us to avoid shopping every day.
Shelter the homeless
- Make room for everyone where you are. Do you or someone else just need space to be alone? Space to work remotely?
- Maybe you could take out your earphones and all listen to the same music for a while—or be quiet together. Sit with your dad while he watches “What about Bob?” for the 100th time.
- Give yourself and others space to express how they are feeling. Give encouragement when you are able and reach out to family, friends, classmates, your faculty, staff if you want to.
Comfort the sorrowful
- Simply listening is a great gift. Whether you are the listener, or you need to be heard, give yourself permission to be there for others and to seek out a sounding board for yourself.
- “I’m sorry,” is often all that needs to be said.
- Look to Scripture for reassurance. God has not forsaken God’s people. All faith traditions have resources.
Visit the imprisoned
- Remember, you are probably healthy, but you don’t want to carry any kind of cold or virus to the people around you—so use all the precautions you have been told.
- What about that family across the street that has three kids who can’t go to school? Do you have old board games you could leave on their porch?
- Have you got relatives, neighbors, brothers and sisters? FaceTime them. Skype a neighborhood block party or family reunion. Think of how awesome it would be to have an old friend take the time to call you. When you were younger, how would you feel if one of your big cousins, or neighbors called to talk to you?
- Play Words with Friends, or any of the hundreds of on-line games with your friends and family.
Bear wrongs patiently
- Give yourself a break! Of course you are feeling a bit of stress, go easy on yourself. Don’t forget the people you live with. Be patient with your teachers and classmates. They are working really hard to make sure you complete the semester successfully. This is new to all of us—so there are bound to be a few hiccups.
Care for the sick
- Nursing homes are banning all visitors — but that doesn’t mean they should be isolated from everything. What about letting them know they are not alone by sending a hand-made card
- Grab some glue, paper-any kind, paints, colored pens, pencils, whatever you have, and let people know that you are thinking of them and praying for them. Stick them in the mail or drop them in mailboxes.
Counsel the doubtful
- Make sure your resources are reliable. Use the official sites set up by Salve Regina, your teachers, the government and official sites of organizations you know and trust.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” It’s better to wait for an expert or check a reliable website.
- Be aware of those around you. Something funny to you may not be funny to everyone.
Written by Siobhan DeWitt, Director of Campus Ministry, Carlow University
Each Monday and Wednesday, SALVEtoday will provide a prayer of reflection for the University community to reflect upon during this time of remote living and learning. #salvesgotthis #mercymondays