New Year’s Resolution 2023 – Do all the Corporal Works of Mercy with your family in one year
I spent some time in prayer last year discerning a new year’s resolution, and I knew just what it was I wanted to do. I resolved to do all of the corporal works of mercy with my family in one year.
Corporal Works Of Mercy:
- Feed the hungry
- Give drink to the thirsty
- Clothe the naked
- Shelter the homeless
- Comfort the prisoners
- Visit the sick
- Bury the dead
1. Feed the Hungry & Give Drink to the Thirsty
You could donate food and drinks to your local food pantry or you could get really creative and create blessing bags. Blessing bags are a really easy way for all of us to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. Assemble small paper lunch bags with protein bars, a bottle of water, a rosary, and a gift card to a local fast food place if possible. As friars we create blessing bags at many of our Come and See Retreats and then pass them out to the local homeless and those in need. It is a great opportunity to encounter Christ in the poor!
2. Clothe the Naked
This is pretty easily done- donate your outgrown clothes to the needy. I would also suggest giving the poor something better than our worst. It is a great opportunity to stretch our hearts and have magnanimous generosity as St. JPII had. His staff would often see his worn out clothing and try to buy him new and he would donate it to the poor and continue to wear his ripped clothing.
3. Shelter the Homeless
If you can’t can’t actually invite people off the street to come stay in our house. Try to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, a local shelter, or even give tents to homeless.
4. Comfort the Prisoners
There are often ministries through your local church. If there isn’t one you can bake cookies for the prisoners. People go into the jail, tell them about Jesus, and you can pass out the cookies. You can also tour a jail, which is a very eye-opening experience and something I would highly recommend. If you tour a jail, I promise it will give you a heart for the imprisoned.
5. Visit the Sick
This is one of the reasons that I loved this resolution so much! We did things this year that would have otherwise slipped through the cracks, and visiting a sick friend in a nursing home was one of them.
6. Bury the Dead
We pray you are fortunate enough not to have to attend a funeral this year, but if you have to attend one for your family or a loved one it is an important opportunity to give thanks to God for the gift of their life, but for us also to remember to pray for their salvation. Another way to bury the dead is to go a local cemetery and bring flowers to a grave and to pray a rosary or simple prayer for the person that passed away.
I love this New Year’s resolution because it allows us to partake in the same type of ministries that Jesus himself did here on Earth. We hope you find this New Year blessed and fruitful!