The Fourth Corporal Work of Mercy – Visit the Imprisoned
This reflection is from the St. Thomas More Parish bulletin. We are twice blessed. First with clear teachings from God with respect to the incarcerated, and also through the life of Deacon Marty Thiel.
As we continue our Lenten journey, we come to the Fourth Corporal Work of Mercy which is visiting the imprisoned. At St. Thomas More we have had the honor of being able to do this in some part because of Deacon Marty’s work with the imprisoned. We have had Christmas in July in which we were able to supply the jail with many different and necessary supplies. I know that many of you have helped Deacon Marty out, not only in July but throughout the year. We are truly blessed to have Deacon Marty here at St. Thomas More because he taught all of us the importance of remembering those who are imprisoned. When Deacon Marty would preach, he would often share with us a story about one or two inmates and their conversion.
I personally learned a lot from Deacon Marty when it comes to the imprisoned. He always talked about them with compassion and love. I am guessing that this might be something that many of them never really got to experience in their lives.
Deacon Marty always treated each inmate with respect and went out of his way to make sure that once they were out they had a place to stay, food to eat and if needed, money for a ticket home even if it meant that it was coming out of his own pocket. Deacon Marty sees in each inmate the person and not the crime. This is something that I am guessing you and I have a very difficult time doing. We tend to look at the crime and forget about the person. We should never allow ourselves to be blinded by fears and forget to show compassion.
Deacon Marty taught me that we are not the judge and jury. We leave that up to Our Lord. But we are called to treat all people with compassion and love. There are different ways in which we can follow the Fourth Corporal Work of Mercy. We can continue in July to supply the ministers of the jail with their needed supplies. Some people volunteer and help the chaplains with the work to be done in the jail while others work from home on special projects. Let us not forget to keep all those imprisoned in our prayers. Deacon Marty taught us this and we are grateful for his inspiration!
Please keep Deacon Marty in your prayers.
Peace and Goodness