The Year of Mercy will come to a close with the end of the liturgical year on November 20. How can we make the most of the final month of this Jubilee Year? Here are some ways to finish out with a bang:
1) If you haven’t yet made a Holy Door Pilgrimage, now is the time!
There are many Holy Doors throughout the United States (and the whole world, for that matter!), and there is a plenary indulgence* available for those who enter through a Holy Door during the Jubilee Year. If you live near a city, you most likely have multiple Holy Doors to choose from, so go visit!
2) Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy
Volunteer at a homeless shelter, donate food and clothing, help out at a soup kitchen—do something to reach out to our brothers and sisters in need. By caring for their physical needs, you will show them the love of God and help them find hope amid their suffering. If you’re looking for practical ways to carry out the Corporal Works of Mercy, Kerry Weber’s book Mercy in the City is a quick read that will give you plenty of inspiration. Anyone who performs a Corporal Work of Mercy during the Year of Mercy can receive a plenary indulgence.*
3) Practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy
Lend a listening ear to someone who is going through a tough time, be patient with someone who is wearing on your nerves, or say an extra prayer for someone in your life. There is also a plenary indulgence* available for anyone who performs a Spiritual Work of Mercy during the Jubilee Year.
4) Pray for souls in purgatory
As we are approaching All Souls’ Day, this is a great time to give special attention to praying for souls in purgatory. The Prayer of St. Gertrude is a quick but powerful prayer for these souls. Also, there is a plenary indulgence* available for those who pray at a graveyard within the first week of November.
5) Start a Consecration to Divine Mercy
Fr. Michael Gaitley’s latest book, 33 Days to Merciful Love, guides you through a consecration to Divine Mercy through the teachings of St. Therésè of Lisieux. This is a beautiful yet little-known devotion that will help you to grow in love and mercy, and it brings powerful graces! The book makes the devotion easy to follow, with short daily readings over the course of 33 days.
Even better, try praying it at 3:00pm – the Hour of Mercy – when Jesus died on the Cross. You can find instructions for praying the Chaplet, which began with St. Faustina, on the Divine Mercy website.
7) Share moments of mercy with others
Keep your eyes open to the goodness of others around you. When you see an example of mercy being lived out, don’t keep it to yourself—share the story! It can encourage other people, ignite hope, and inspire more acts of mercy. If you use social media, you can share with the hashtag #mercyinmotion.
*In order to receive a plenary indulgence, one must fulfill the usual conditions of having the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, receiving sacramental Confession and the Holy Eucharist, and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father. To learn more about the Catholic practice of indulgences, click here.