Friday, February 8, 2008

Lenten Practice

I read this;

The Church lives, wherever the corporal works of mercy are practiced:
feeding the hungry
giving drink to the thirsty
clothing the naked
giving shelter to strangers
liberating prisoners
visiting the sick
burying the dead

The Church also lives, wherever the spiritual works of mercy are practiced;
correcting sinners
teaching the ignorant
giving counsel to the doubters
comforting the distressed
enduring the troublesome
forgiving those who offend us
praying for the living and the dead

Then I wondered since the family is the domestic church why can’t our family do each of these over the next 38 days? There is no reason.
The spiritual acts of mercy describe any given day in the Germanicus household; we will just be more intentional about finding “teaching moments”
As far as corporal acts of mercy I want to put in a plug for a CRS program called “Social Safety Net”. This is from the website

Safety Net Program Overview
A "safety net" is assistance for extremely vulnerable individuals who are unable to meet the most basic needs for survival and human dignity. Individuals may be unable to meet these needs due to an external shock - such as natural disasters or war - or due to socioeconomic circumstances, such as age, illness, disabilities or discrimination. Such individuals are usually completely dependent upon outside resources to meet their basic food and livelihood needs.
CRS, in its commitment and challenge to live out the tenets of Catholic social teaching (CST), takes as its point of origin the inherent dignity and equality of the human person. CST focuses on "those members of society with the greatest needs (who) require the greatest response and attention."
CRS recognizes the responsibility of the State and civil society to provide for the basic needs and the common good of its people. To encourage the fulfillment of this responsibility, CRS supports civil society by "strengthening the capacity of local organizations to advocate for improved government services to meet basic needs." (Applying the Justice Lens to Programming, CRS Occasional Paper, July 1998)
However, when governments and local communities are unable or unwilling to provide for the basic needs of the most vulnerable, there is a moral imperative for the broader human community to respond. This is the basis for CRS' safety net programming.
Who Do These Activities Reach?
The most vulnerable include the following:
· Persons residing indefinitely in institutions, such as the terminally ill, those who are severely disabled mentally or physically, or elderly pensioners.
· Persons temporarily housed in institutions, including children and adults who are hospitalized or participate in residential rehabilitative services or skills training.
· Persons temporarily in need of assistance while living in the community, including marginalized individuals or households that are unable to adequately care for themselves, either due to a mental or physical disability, illness, age, destitution, or low social status, but who are not under the care of an institution.
In some cases, those who are extremely vulnerable will remain so for an indefinite period of time and may need assistance for the rest of their lives.
In other cases, vulnerable individuals may only be temporarily in need of assistance such as orphans or the temporarily displaced. Later, they may be able to care for themselves.
Background of CRS' Safety Net Program
The purpose of safety net programs - also referred to as "non-emergency humanitarian assistance" or "general relief" - is to meet individuals' immediate food security needs while creating a foundation for more sustainable food and livelihood security.
The needs of the extremely vulnerable include:
Basic health care
Lack of adequate food is often the greatest threat to extremely vulnerable populations. Safety net programming seeks to meet immediate food needs, while at the same time providing the necessary services and training to allow individuals to become food secure. Using food aid from the U.S. government, CRS provides food to safety net populations through institutions or communities.
CRS also works with and through local institutions to provide complementary assistance such as medical care and counseling, education, or skills training, to individuals who have the opportunity to meet their food and livelihood needs in the future. At the broader level, CRS works to ensure that the most vulnerable populations will be cared for in the future by building institutions' capacity and by lobbying host governments for improved safety net care.

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