Counsel the doubtfuli
Instruct the ignorant
Sr. Catherine Aubin
Rebuke the sinneri
RR Card. Matteo Maria Zuppi
Comfort the afflictedi
RR Card. Francesco Coccopalmerio
RR Msgr. Giancarlo M. Bregantini
Patiently bear troublesome people
Prof. Gianluigi Pasquale
Pray for the living and the dead
RR Msgr. Renato Boccardo
curated by Lucetta Scaraffia
production Spoleto56 Festival of 2Worlds
in collaboration with the Pontificio Consiglio per la Nuova Evangelizzazione
After last year’s successful experience, when the sermons on the seven deadly sins roused great, and in some ways unexpected interest from the audience, this year the Festival of 2Worlds, again in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, proposes a new cycle of sermons, this time dedicated to the works of spiritual mercy.
Mercy, intended as concrete and visible love, which is effective and not just emotional, operational and practical, is the foundation of the Judeo-Christian message, as taught by the Holy Scriptures. But it is the Christian tradition that has actually established a genuine list of works of mercy that every Christian is obliged to perform, to intervene when faced with the different needs of other human beings.
Today, the corporal works of mercy - feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, housing the pilgrims, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead - although always present, are principally carried out by the welfare state or by the work of organized assistance, while the spiritual works of mercy, almost forgotten, indicate a field of action on the part of individual initiative. These force us to pay attention to the quality of the relationships we establish with the people around us, or even with those we meet by chance: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, rebuke the sinner, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, patiently bear troublesome people, pray for the living and the dead.
These works of mercy are certainly difficult to define and put into practice in an age of cultural relativism. They require humbleness and attention: if consoling the afflicted is without doubt one of the most feasible works of mercy that is always needed, which you can not delegate to an assistance institution, advising the doubters can easily become manipulation, but at the same time provide eye-opening advice which could be a priceless treasure for our lives.
In a world that is moving at an ever-increasing speed, the virtue of patience is difficult even to comprehend, but it is essential. Patience is the art of living the incompleteness, not only of others, but also our own.