Help-Spiritual works of mercy


#1

Looking for any insight anyone has to offer when it comes to these three

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;

Im not sure where the line is of doing this and not coming off as arrogant or condescending

To put it in context, I tend to hold back on of these because I dont like "rocking the boatz' because when I "rock the boat"....the waves can get nausiating ....:eek:

I tend to be very logical and from my head when I say things and some get offended easily or have thinner skins or whatever....

If any of you have found ways of handling these spiritual works of mercy please help....

(I think of our priests and bishops who have to do such things with parishioners and all I do is thank God for these men's willingness and I pray God to help them...Its not easy, esp when one wants to be "nice"...Maybe that is my problem? I want to be "nice"? or "liked"? Mmmm gonna have to think about that aspect too)


#2

[quote="Marie5890, post:1, topic:181446"]
Looking for any insight anyone has to offer when it comes to these three

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;

Im not sure where the line is of doing this and not coming off as arrogant or condescending

To put it in context, I tend to hold back on of these because I dont like "rocking the boatz' because when I "rock the boat"....the waves can get nausiating ....:eek:

I tend to be very logical and from my head when I say things and some get offended easily or have thinner skins or whatever....

If any of you have found ways of handling these spiritual works of mercy please help....

(I think of our priests and bishops who have to do such things with parishioners and all I do is thank God for these men's willingness and I pray God to help them...Its not easy, esp when one wants to be "nice"...Maybe that is my problem? I want to be "nice"? or "liked"? Mmmm gonna have to think about that aspect too)

[/quote]

Okay, here are some thoughts.

To admonish the sinner; Are you comfortable with your own sins (well past sins because you have gone to confession right?;)) Over my lifetime the more I have understood about my own past sins the better I have been able to talk to others about theirs.

Counsel the doubtful; How good are your ears? If you can be patient and listen then you can sometimes help simply by listening. I would think about what life experiences you have had that can relate to other people and their troubles.

Instruct the Ignorant; This I think is the easiest area in which one can both improve on a personal level and then help others. The less ingnorant we are as individuals the better we can help others. What do you do to increase your knowledge of the faith? This year I am increasing my knowledge by reading at least one book per month and watching one video per week. The thickest book is Theology of the Body, but most of them will be smaller or biographical books about saints.

How active are you in participating in faith related events or seminars? I attended the Oregon Right To Life last year and it was a good learning experience. Is there a bible study at your church? Slightly different idea - I pick one virtue to focus on each year. This year it is Temperance. So, by giving me this focus I am learning more about Temperance.

One last thought about instructing the ignorant would be that people often learn a lot when they teach others. I do not know if being a Sunday school teacher fits you, but that would be a good way to help the ignorant.

You mentioned that some people have thin skins. This is true. The virtue of humility will help you with this. If people sense you are coming from a humble point they will take what you have to say better. Without a specific situation I am not sure exactly what to suggest exactly.

God bless


#3

And remember, God doesn’t necessarily call you to do everything. And sometimes you may want to support someone else who is called to do the work. This support could take the form of praying for a missionary, giving a good book to a Sunday school teacher, giving a ride to someone who otherwise couldn’t get to confession, etc.


#4

I think your question may boil down to: "When is it appropriate to make a fraternal correction?" (admonish the sinner).

I once asked a good priest (my former spiritual director) about this. He told me to ask myself these questions:
[LIST]
*]Does the correction need to be made?
*]Is this the right time to do it?
*]Am I the right person to do it?
*]If I do, is it likely to have the desired effect?
[/LIST]
So I would think that if you are unable at this moment to "admonish the sinner" in charity, in such a way that he is likely to positively change his behavior, it might be better to wait, to allow someone else to handle it, etc.


#5

Thank you :slight_smile: very helpful.

Yep…Started off Advent with Confession in fact :wink: and I am an RCIA catechist.

Great things for me to think about.


#6

[quote="PhilotheaZ, post:4, topic:181446"]
I think your question may boil down to: "When is it appropriate to make a fraternal correction?" (admonish the sinner).

I once asked a good priest (my former spiritual director) about this. He told me to ask myself these questions:
[LIST]
*]Does the correction need to be made?
*]Is this the right time to do it?
*]Am I the right person to do it?
*]If I do, is it likely to have the desired effect?
[/LIST]
So I would think that if you are unable at this moment to "admonish the sinner" in charity, in such a way that he is likely to positively change his behavior, it might be better to wait, to allow someone else to handle it, etc.

[/quote]

Yes, I think you nailed it. and I think what your former spiritual advisor suggested you ask yourself are excellent.

Gonna write it down and keep it with me. :)

Thank you! Very helpful
God Bless


#7

Glad to help.

On the other hand, we should never by our silence give the impression that we approve of sinful actions committed or discussed in our presence. For example, if a conversation turns bad, we can express our disapproval by changing the subject, walking away, giving a disapproving glance seen only by the offending party, etc.

Sometimes it’s a delicate balancing act …


#8

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