A Moment for Mercy - Visit the Imprisoned

A Moment for Mercy - Visit the Imprisoned

One elderly priest who after a lifetime occupying important posts is now involved in prison ministry, once told me, 'If I had to start all over again, I would dedicate my life to working with prisoners, for I have learnt so much from them'. Yet, prisoners and former prisoners are perhaps that  category of people we spontaneously consider least worthy of mercy. They have brought this upon themselves, they should have thought before they acted, they have caused so much damage, may they now learn their lesson.

It is in these moments that we need to follow Jesus' advice and look to the heavenly Father to understand what real mercy is. It is no coincidence that Jesus included this work of mercy in his list, for it challenges our core beliefs about human relations.

Pope Francis often repeats that the Church, ie the community of Christians, must be like a field hospital, doing its best to find and heal all those who bear the wounds of life, whoever they are and whatever the reason. We can start by asking ourselves what our parish or our Christian group does for prisoners and their families who live in our midst. The families of prisoners and former prisoners yearn for a hand that connects them to the community as full members. How do I talk about prisoners to my friends, to my children? What is their place in my heart?

For most of us it would be very difficult to visit the inmates in prison, but there are so many people who cannot leave their home because of their own condition or that of their family, prisoners in their own home in a very real sense. Blessed are we if we visit them in their imprisonment. 

Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy!

By Paul Pace, SJ 

Today we bring you a video which will give you a good insight into what it means to visit the imprisoned, in the words of people who do just that.

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