I am not sure which of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy I was accomplishing last night. (You can see the complete listhere) #1, Feeding the hungry or #4, Visiting the sick. Since I was taking food (#1) to the recovering, but still house-bound (#4), Carol, I’m pretty sure I get double the points. (In this case actual grace [as opposed to sanctifying grace]—it sickens me that I know this) On the other hand, I think that when you do these works of mercy it is not supposed to be pleasurable. I have the idea that when you are doing them it needs to be uncomfortable at the very least, or better still, deeply unpleasant. Picture taking gruel to an elderly, unwashed, bedridden person with sclerotic lesions around their mouth and then sitting with them while they gag it down making polite convo even if you have to hold a handkerchief over your mouth and nose.
Nothing that gets you points in heaven, which is to say sanctifying or actual grace, the two types of grace there are, is ever actually fun. Like, you are not going to get “actual grace” taking your nephew to Great America or, say, splitting a bottle of gin with a homeless person (#3, Give drink to the thirsty) under the viaduct.
In this case I did not hold a handkerchief over my nose most of the time. And I suppose that since I ate the food with Carol it somehow diminishes the rich hallowed glow of my good works. The food was exquisite, I have to say, the buttery potatoes and the slow roasted, and BBQ sauce-burnished ribs. There may also have been a glass or two of sacramental wine involved, St Rodney the Strong, if memory serves.