Corporal Work of Mercy:
To build a better world through choices that avoid violence, exploitation, and selfishness.
Reflect on the collage of images below. At the center is a person deep in thought. Around him is the world in which he lives and the world that his choices impact. He is placed at the center because his choices will ultimately impact him as well.
How does humanity's choices impact the different parts of creation depicted in each image?
What are the implications for humanity when those choices are made?
What are the choices you face on a daily basis that either support or challenge our call to Care for Creation?
The heart of Pope Francis' Corporal Work of Mercy for Creation is choices: Choices that you and I make and their moral implications. The heart of selfishness toward creation is when we adopt the ethic of, The only choice that matters is what I want to use creation for to better myself. Though there may be an initial short-term gain for an individual or country, a selfish disposition of heart can lead to a profoundly negative impact upon others, creates violence between nations over access to natural resources, and reduces people to things that we simply use, exploiting their lands for one's own benefit.
Spiritual Exercise: Reflect on the above image and ask, How can I practice the Corporal Work of Mercy that calls us to Care for Creation through our daily choices? Pray with this question, practice mercy toward creation, which is mercy toward your neighbor, and, in the spirit of Advent, invite Christ to come into our broken world, renewing our hearts and our lands so we can deepen our spiritual lives by having access to the natural resources necessary to care for all people's material needs.