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Vincentian approach – spiritual and corporal works of mercy

by | Apr 12, 2015 | Vincentian Family

Vincent de Paul and symbols of mercyIn writing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy Pope Francis wrote.. “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.” John Prager recently offered Vincentian Perspectives for us to consider.  To Serve the Poor Spiritually and Corporally”. He writes

“There are many ways of expressing the Vincentian charism. One way to define it is accompanying the poor in the construction of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is the center of Jesus’ life and mission. It is the proclamation, by word and work, of God’s victory over every form of evil. Jesus responds to people’s experience of evil, the bad news, with the Good News that evil is being conquered. Paul VI put it like this:

As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him (EN 9).
The Church exists to evangelize (EN 14). It is within the context of that ecclesial mission that the Vincentian vocation to serve the poor corporally and spiritually has to be understood. St. Vincent never tired of saying that we participate in the mission of Christ. We preach the Good News by word and work.
 For Vincentians, charity and evangelization are inseparable. Our corporal and spiritual service is charity. We evangelize, make the Good News effective, through charity. In this talk I want to offer a few ideas about the spiritual and practical dimensions of charity. In reality these two dimensions cannot be neatly separated. For the sake clarity I have done so here.”

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