JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY
Jubilee of Mercy – Lent 2016
Caritas Christi urget nos
Day of spiritual retreat for those who are involved in the charitable service of
Promoted by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
The Jubilee is an opportunity to meet God in order to better serve our brothers and sisters. Encountering God’s mercy means becoming merciful with our very brothers and sisters in the spirit of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. This can help to fight against the spiritual worldliness in the Church to which many times Pope Francis is asking us to be attentive.
In order to experience also the grace of the Jubilee in our places of service, Pope Francis has instructed the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which follows at a universal level the charitable service of the Church, to propose to all those who work in different forms in the Church’s charitable activity a day of spiritual retreat during Lent on the theme: Caritas Christi urget nos.
The day should be celebrated locally within each group if possible, since it is the Holy Father’s wish that the Jubilee is celebrated especially in loco. A specific date for the entire universal Church has not been determined in order to allow each charitable organization, group or institution to carry out with great freedom according to its needs. To assist in the preparation, we present below a basic proposal, which can then be adapted that is essentially a liturgical celebration to promote the personal encounter with the Lord. It can be integrated with the passage through the Holy Door of Jubilee that is locally established.
PRAYER OF POPLE FRANCIS FOR THE JUBILEE
Lord Jesus Christ,
You have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy;
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error;
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
WORKS OF MERCY
“The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities.
Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.
The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.
(CCC n. 2447).
THE SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
1. Feed the hungry.
2. Give drink to the thirsty.
3. Clothe the naked.
4. Shelter the homeless.
5. Visit the sick.
6. Visit the imprisoned.
7. Bury the dead.
THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
1. Counsel the doubtful.
2. Instruct the ignorant.
3. Admonish the sinner.
4. Comfort the afflicted.
5. Forgive offences.
6. Bear wrongs patiently.
7. Pray for the living and the dead.
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Resources on Theme of Loneliness Available to Conferences
This year the National Board has asked Conferences to focus on the theme of loneliness and how we, as Vincentians, can reach out to those in our community – our neighbour, our colleagues, or a new settler family at Mass, and extend the hand of friendship. A simple act of sharing a cuppa with an elderly neighbour, or a visit with a lonely teen or an isolated new settler family can make a world of difference to them.
As part of this focus, all Conferences will shortly receive posters and pamphlets to distribute throughout their Conference, or parish. To download additional copies, please click here.
As a member of St Vincent de Paul reaching out to others can have a profound positive affect on those who are isolated and socially alienated.
Let us reach out to all who are lonely and make the time to personally visit, just as our founder, Frederick Ozanam, did so long ago.
“The knowledge of social well-being and of reform can be learned not from books, nor from the public platform, but in climbing the stairs to the poor person’s garret, sitting by their bedside, feeling the same cold that pierces them, sharing the secrets of their lonely hearts and troubled minds”
Blessed Frederic Ozanam