Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Different Gifts

In doing the Works of Mercy, each person has different opportunities and obligations, as well as different gifts. For example, we are not obliged to always "admonish the sinner" (nor is it always wise or prudent to do so). The Catholic Encyclopedia says the following about the spiritual works of mercy:

"Likewise the law imposing spiritual works of mercy is subject in individual instances to important reservations. For example, it may easily happen that an altogether special measure of tact and prudence, or, at any rate, some definite superiority is required for the discharge of the oftentimes difficult task of fraternal correction. Similarly to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, and console the sorrowing is not always within the competency of every one. To bear wrongs patiently, to forgive offences willingly, and to pray for the living and the dead are things from which on due occasion no one may dispense himself on the pleas that he has not some special array of gifts required for their observance. They are evidently within the reach of all." (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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