One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to “Comfort the Sorrowful.” There are a tremendous number of people who suffer from sorrow and grief in our world today, so there is a tremendous need for Christians to practice this work of mercy. First of all, what are some examples of people in sorrow today?
- Widows and widowers: grief over the loss of one’s spouse can be devastating and can take several years to work through, even with assistance from counselors.
- Children who have lost a Parent.
- Parents who have suffered the loss of a Child through sickness, war, suicide or accidental death.
- Victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- Women and Men who have lost a Child through abortion.
- Anyone who is sorrowful over their past sins against God and/or their neighbors.
- And many, many more …
What are some of the ways that we could “comfort the sorrowful” in our midst?
- Helping a widow or widower to learn skills that they now need.
- A widow might need to learn more about household finances (especially if her husband always took care of that area), or she might need to learn some basic mechanical skills.
- A widower might need to learn how to cook, or do the laundry, or to properly clean a kitchen.
- We could work on fulfilling the “Honey Do” list for a new widow — what an act of charity, to finish out those projects that her husband was never able to finish!
- Listening to someone who is hurting from abuse (often, we don’t need to talk at all, but only to listen), and helping them to find a good counselor or therapist.
- Helping a woman or man who is hurting from abortion to find a Rachel’s Vineyard or Entering Canaan retreat to attend. Or maybe serving as part of the team for one of those retreats.
- Sharing with a person who is sorrowful over their past about the Love and Mercy that is available to them in the Sacrament of Confession — which might be also called the “Sacrament of Mercy.”
There are many ways that you and I can reach out with the Love of Jesus Christ to those who are hurting, to those who suffer from sorrows and grief. Are we taking those opportunities? Are we asking the Holy Spirit to help us to bring the Love and Mercy of Our Blessed Lord — Love and Mercy that we have experienced in our own lives — to those who are in sorrow and grief?
But what does it mean
Fr. Ben Cameron says
Could you clarify your question?
Stella Ashikaga says
In trying to comfort a sorrowful person, one must be strong enough so he/she can comfort that person. And also, in comforting a sorrowful person, one must not compete with him/her trying to tell that you are more miserable (e.g. your friend is crying because she misses her mom from abroad, then you, as a friend, told her that you didn’t even met your mother once). One must give the sense of hope in comforting a sorrowful person that time will come things will be better. (sadly, the crying won’t stop, but with hope, there is always a solution.)