One of the central pieces to the mission of Blessed is She is helping women find and create Catholic community. We love our online community, and we’ve been amazed by the friendships formed in the regional Facebook groups. And we super love when this BIS community overflows into real life. We’ve been fortunate to have a front-row view of otherwise unlikely friendships formed on our retreats, and whole local communities gather for a Blessed Brunch.
One of the ways we strive to support these real-life communities is through our Blessed Conversations studies. These studies each focus on different topics of our Faith. They can be used as small group “curriculum,” or you can pray through them with just one friend. We believe that community is imperative in living the Christian life, and this is a major way we do our best to support you in forming and fostering your own community. We have studies like Mystery (about the Rosary) and Rooted (looking at major sections of the Catechism), and our newest study on the Works of Mercy, Misericordia.
Misericordia: A Study on the Works of Mercy
Serving others is a requirement for every Christian, and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy give us a blueprint for doing just that.
As you begin to dive into this study with your best friend or small group, we wanted to give you a glimpse o the heart behind this project. So we asked the women who dreamed up, wrote, and edited this study to share their hopes for you when you read Misericordia, and what they personally loved learning about during their research.
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What We Hope Women Receive from Misericordia (and the Saints Who Inspired Us)
Every single Saint in this study inspires me in a multitude of ways. But I am most especially encouraged by the holy women I had never heard about, like Blessed Natalia Tulasiewicz who freely chose to share in the suffering of death camp prisoners. Her joy, courage, and confidence in Christ’s love despite opposition and hatred gives me the strength to bear others’ wrongs more patiently and to be faithful to the end.
In this study I was struck by the thought that these are not just nice ideas or platitudes, but we are called to live out these Works of Mercy, implying both the extremely practical effort and consistently hard work it takes to incarnate this mercy in our lives. My prayer is that as women of all ages do this study, they will listen to the Lord’s Heart, and as they offer their resources, time, and talents to love others, they will join army of Saints who witness to the merciful love of God. -Debra Herbeck
I loved reading about Venerable Edel Quinn! She died at about the age that I am now and faced a lot of challenges in her life, but it didn’t stop her from remaining joyful and trusting in the Lord’s plan for her life. And, she had a heart for Africa like me.
The Work of Mercy that really stuck with me was to visit the imprisoned. Not all of us will have the opportunity to visit those who are truly imprisoned. But we all have the capacity to visit those who are isolated by loneliness, despair, or doubt. My prayer for all women who do this study (including me!) is that we come to see all the daily ways we can live out the Works of Mercy in our homes, on our blocks, and in our parishes. -Karen Schultz
I was blown away by all the holy women—women I had mostly never heard of from all across the globe! From every conceivable lay women’s vocational path! The Church has so many riches and its holy women are a keen one for me. The ideas that stuck with me after working with these four beautiful writers are that we can live our the Works of Mercy in our messy, busy, wounded lives. Indeed, living them out will probably bring us more joy and healing than even the people we’re ministering to! I loved and treasured their reflections, from a small apartment dinner invitation to a letter returned to a neighbor, a trip to meet Mother Teresa to choosing to pray for those in need—the four authors’ stories brought the Works of Mercy to life for me. It’s such an honor to work alongside them. -Nell O’Leary
My favorite way to live out the Works of Mercy as a person who doesn’t have a lot of extra time for (very important) stuff like that, is delivering a meal to a family in need of one. It’s easy to say, “congratulations” or “I’m so sorry” or “you guys will be in my prayers.” And those are good, necessary things to say, of course. But also saying, “May I drop dinner off on Tuesday?” means I’m acknowledging their practical needs as well as their spiritual needs. I was going to make dinner for my family anyway, doubling that recipe can make a big difference to a family in times of joy, grief, and transition. -Kendra Tierney
I was amazed to learn the stories of the new-to-me lay women saints spotlighted in this Misericordia study. As a musician, my heart was particularly moved by the example of Blessed Natalia Tulasiewicz who spread beauty and joy through the gift of song. She sought hope and shared mercy despite the dire circumstances of her life. In writing about the spiritual works of mercy, my eyes have been opened to the ways I can be a living witness of the mercy of God for others. I hope the women who participate in this study will be inspired similarly! -Elise Howe
The Story Behind the Cover Art
Erica put down her pen once and drew the entire image without picking it up off the paper.
I love how this illustrates the universality of the Church, as well as our connectedness to the Saints in the work of bringing God’s mercy to the world.
Join Us for This Study?
We would love to pray through this study by your side as you work through it with your communities in real life. Be sure to get your copy of Misericordia here!
This study guide is perfect for your small group for twelve sessions.