Easter 2012

Happy Easter.

One thing you may or may not know about me, dear readers, is that I’m a retired Catholic. Like many other people, I left because what some Catholics would call “below-the-belt” issues, but also because the (ongoing) sexual abuse scandals, the treatment of women, and the utter hatred and contempt shown to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters by the Church hierarchy. I guess I simultaneously rejected the Catholic Church’s authority to be the final arbiter of my conscience on these issues, and any denied actual belief that the Church’s position on these any of these issues was tenable. Or humane. Or Christian.

But still, I won’t pretend my nursing practice hasn’t been deeply influenced and illuminated by Catholic ethics. Here’s one way they are. Call it my personal theoretical basis for practice. The Works of Mercy:

Images of the Works of Mercy by Ade Bethune, a well-known liturgical artist.

For me, anyway, the works of mercy are a pretty good touchstone for what’s good and valuable in nursing practice: there isn’t one of them that doesn’t touch some aspect of nursing. Inevitably, your mileage may vary. And of course, many Christians reject them outright.



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  1. #1 by jenjilks on Sunday 08 April 2012 - 1109

    My husband was an altar boy, living in a small town where the Catholics competed with the Protestants. Crazy!
    He gave up Catholicism for Lent about 40 years ago!
    I left my Protestant church when facing divorce and had an incredible lack of support.

    We live in a small town, where organized religion is a big deal. I am not comfortable with such fundamentalist churches.

    We are still good people, and transcend religion for spirituality.
    “Do unto others” is a universal principle in many religions, as it is the humane way to live your life.
    Chag Sameach! Happy Easter! http://bit.ly/HsP2ZK Happy Spring!

  2. #2 by Chris on Thursday 14 May 2015 - 1105

    I was looking for images of the Corporal Works of Mercy in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy which Pope Francis has declared. Thank you for posting these- I am trying to find a way to help our parish celebrate this extraordinary jubillee year. I’m sorry you have had such negative experience of the Church – we are not perfect by any means, nor do we claim to be. It sounds like you must have had a bad encounter(s) with someone who professes the faith. It also sounds like you may have been given some bad information about what the Church teaches and possibly some prejudiced reporting on what the Church does. Over the past 2 years I have spent far to much time in hospitals (visiting not as a patient) and I have been struck by the amazing care and committment of the wonderful nurses and aides who cared for both of my parents as their healh failed. It is often said that the Church must not be a Museum for Saints but rather a Hospital for Sinners. I often thought of how in my experience the actual hospitals I was in were filled with Saints as well. Thank you for the wonderful profession you have chosen.

  3. #3 by apartments sithonia on Monday 11 January 2016 - 2009

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all vital infos.

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