Pastoral Letter of the Prelate of Opus Dei for the Year of Mercy (2015-2016): Some Key Action Points
The letter is not yet in English. Since the Year of Mercy starts today, and it was signed Nov 4, 2015, here are ideas which can be useful and actionable:
Thank the Holy Father for the special Jubilee, with prayer and deeds. Be joyful in receiving the call of the Pope to deal with our Lord in piety and in the celebration of the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist, and in the concrete demonstrations of fraternal love.
Good to meditate frequently on this marvelous expression of divine Love. (John Paul II) We will always need divine mercy but in our time this need acquires an even greater urgency.
Begin the Year of Mercy with serious devotion and joy.
Frequently review the Gospel passages that show the compassion and understanding of Jesus Christ with humanity. In the midst of shadows, divine intervention has never been lacking: revealing the constant flow of God’s mercy towards the world. Let’s not stop thanking God. History of Opus Dei is a history of the mercies of God.
Go to the mercy of God. Before God we do not have any rights. (St. Josemaria)
The principal fruit that we ask God during this year:
- that society goes back to walking along the paths of the commandments,
- that souls allow themselves to be enkindled with fire for the love of God,
- that in all parts of the Church there is a resurgence of clear doctrine and authentic piety
- “that each one meets each person bringing the goodness and tenderness of God” (Pope Francis)
Be merciful as the Father is merciful. Not just to ask God pardon for our sins and the sins of all, but to unite with this prayer the concrete practice of mercy towards our neighbor.
Corporal works of mercy
Church manifests a preferential option for the poor. We should never
abandon the corporal works of mercy. Helping the poor "honors our Lady
and charity is exercised." (St. Josemaria)
- Many young people have improved their disposition to serve others when they have discovered the compelling need of their neighbor.
- Let us seek to expand the reach of projects for the needy.
- Be extra attentive towards the sick: at home and in hospitals, etc. Facilitate possible medical care and do the utmost in giving spiritual attention.
- Not to be aloof to the initiatives in dioceses and parishes for immigrants
Spiritual works of mercy.
- “The worst discrimination that the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual attention.” (Pope Francis)
- Among the spiritual works of mercy: teach those who do not know, give advice, forgive offenses (demonstrations of refined charity)
- Our great mission is to give doctrine (St. Josemaria)
- Give good advice: example, speak the right word, apostolate of friendship and confidence.
- Rediscover fraternal correction
- Society is sensitive to caring for the material and physical goods of others and seem to be totally silent about spiritual care, for the soul’s eternal destiny. But the early Church was not like this. It’s important to rediscover this dimension of Christian charity. (Benedict XVI)
- Forgiving offenses is a clear sign that we behave as children of God
Apostolate of Confession. Help people to recover the friendship with God lost through sin. “Put the sacrament of reconciliation in the center, because it allows us to experience the greatness of mercy.” (Pope Francis). Be faithful instruments of mercy. Constant zeal to prepare souls of friends and acquaintances to help them draw much fruit from the sacrament of joy and peace.
Read and meditate in depth on the bull, Misericordiae Vultus, and to make personal resolutions. Do a pilgrimage as stated by the bull. Have a tender love for our Mother.