Friday, September 13, 2013

Seven works of mercy

As a counterbalance to the list of seven deadly sins, the church in the Middle Ages came up with a list of seven works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, house the homeless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, bury the dead. Every day a small army of relief workers and volunteers in Tohoku put into practice those works of mercy. Not all of us can serve on the front lines of mercy, however. As I reminded the staff of my publisher in Tokyo the day I left, the church later came up with an additional list of spiritual works of mercy: to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offences willingly, comfort the afflicted, pray for the living and the dead. The

Philip Yancey, in The Question That Never Goes Away
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