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!

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