Visiting Those in Prison – A Corporal Act of Mercy
As promised, each month this year, I will cover an act, or acts of mercy. This month we will focus on visiting those in prison as part of the Year of Mercy series, where we explore the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Visiting the imprisoned is a corporal act of mercy.
My guess is that you are thinking of the incarcerated, as the only people who fit this bill. Think again! Anyone enslaved to sin is in some sort of prison. Anyone in need, who can find no way out, is in some sort of prison.
When thinking of the imprisoned, I am reminded of a line from “A Christmas Carol” where the Ghost of Christmas Present demands that Ebenezer Scrooge take a good look under his cloak, where he will find two starving children who represent the prisons of ignorance and want. These prisons are not reserved only for children. We adults can reside in these prisons as well.
During this Year of Mercy, if you would like to partake in this corporal work of mercy, then consider the following options:
- Join a Jail Ministry through your Church, where on designated days you visit with inmates, sharing your faith. Hear their stories. It might wind up changing your life for the better. Want to know what it is like to participate in Jail Ministry? Well then, hear from the “horse’s mouth,” by reading a post from my friend Tony Agnesi, fellow Catholic blogger and Jail Ministry volunteer, by reading his post on The Value of a Lost Soul.
- Volunteer to help those in need. Play chauffeur for a day helping those imprisoned within their own homes to get their errands done, keep their doctor appointments, and maybe just get out of the house.
- Give a listening ear to the distraught; those filled with despair. Your empathy and compassion for their circumstances might be the medicine they need to give them hope. Your actions just might save a life.
These are practical suggestions that cost you nothing monetarily; yet they are treasured gifts to those imprisoned in jail, their homes or their minds.