Make a list of things that make you happy.
Make a list of things you do every day.
Compare the lists.
There are many people who live by lists. They make lists of things that they need to do today. They make lists of things they need to do this week. They make lists of things they need to do this month. And they make lists of things they need to do this year. I think some of them need to make a list of places they keep their lists!
Yet, without those lists, they cannot seem to function. They feel safe and predictable knowing that they can check on what they are to do next. They experience a huge sense of accomplishment when they can check something off of their list. With their lists, they always seem to look ahead with great confidence.
Not all of us are list makers. At least not externally. We may not write down what we need to do; but, we often make a mental list of what is necessary. Without something to guide us, we could go astray too easily.
If making a list — external or internal — helps keep us on track, perhaps it would be a good idea to make a spiritual list as well. A “to do” list of our faith might keep many of us in line. We would have some prompting to pray, to do volunteer work, to go to church for Eucharistic Adoration or confession, and the like.
It is so important to do the works that have been entrusted to us by the Lord. The Church has codified those works in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The corporal works of mercy remind us that we are to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. The spiritual works of mercy remind us that we are to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinners, bear patiently those who wrong us, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.
Those two lists are quite powerful. Take a moment to think about them. Then, take an even longer moment to consider what kind of world this could be if everyone took those lists seriously and attempted to live them daily in their lives. We have been commissioned by the Lord to care for one another. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy give us the perfect blueprint to do so.
FAITH ACTION: Discuss with family or friends what all of you could do to make this world a better place, perhaps framing your plans upon the lists of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.