As we move forward in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us work together to follow the Lord’s command to care for one another as we continue our pilgrimage here on Earth. Take some time to pray and to consider how you will participate in and celebrate this Extraordinary Jubilee.
We offer some suggestions below on how you may practice mercy. These are in no particular order and we are not placing them into a particular category. Help us add to the list. Share your ideas in the comment area at the bottom of the page.
1. Declutter and give your things to the needy.
2. Donate some time to an organization helping the needy (such as the Franciscan Kitchen).
3. Take a meal to someone who is shut-in, new parents, or someone who has lost a loved one.
4. Clear the snow and ice away for an elderly neighbor; or offer to run an errand for them or take them to the store.
5. Smile and greet people you pass on the street.
6. Do your children get new backpacks every school year? Donate the old one to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
7. Let someone else take that parking space you were waiting on for what felt like ten minutes (and be at peace with it).
8. Have some old blankets, towels, sheets that you don’t think anyone would want? Chances are your local animal shelter would be happy to receive these items.
9. Try to be less critical of others. Imagine what it would be like to ‘be in their shoes.’
10. Pray and don’t forget to pray for those who you feel have wronged you.
11. Be mindful of all that you have and do not be wasteful.
12. Visit a nursing home and share a talent or simply be present with a smile, some time to share, and a listening ear.
13. Know someone who is going through a difficult time? Send a card, give them a call, take them to lunch, and let them know that you are there for them.
14. Are you the parent of young children? Ask them to create some greeting cards and then go to a nursing home and hand deliver them.
15. Volunteer at a hospital.
16. Let go of grudges. Try to be positive with those you are having a difficult time with.
17. You may be performing acts of mercy in your everyday job – taking care of children or the elderly or the handicapped, teaching, working in healthcare or education. Try to be patient and joyful in these very important vocations.
18. Take care of your own health and that of your family. Eat nutritious foods and try to stay active. Model healthy habits for your children.
19. Keep granola bars or other wrapped foods in your car to hand out to those asking for help at stoplights.
20. Help someone for whom English is a second language.
21. Help someone learn how to read.
22. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
23. Support the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
24. Become a mentor through a program such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
25. Be welcoming in your demeanor. Open the door for people. Hold the door open for those coming behind.