May 2016 – Comfort the Afflicted
In May, we focus on the spiritual work of mercy that we all probably (hopefully!) do every day. Whether we seek it out or not, we hear every day from someone who is struggling in some way. Whether it’s an illness, a death of a family member or close friend, the loss of a job or a struggle with a long-term health issue, everyone around us is afflicted by some sort of challenge. (And this is to say nothing of those struggling silently with addiction, mental health issues or family troubles.)
Think back in your life of the dark or difficult times you faced, and then think about how you came out of those times. Likely it was God’s mercy and the compassion of those around you that brought you light at the end of the tunnel, and it certainly was not condemnation or judgment that helped. As Fr. Greg Boyle says, “Stand in awe of what people have to carry. Do not stand in judgment of how they carry it.”
As you go through the days ahead, take a little extra time with the folks you encounter and do your best (with God’s help) to offer comfort and peace – a warm smile, a gentle touch or a peaceful word – and I’m confident that you will be returned that grace tenfold.