“An Taiseirl (The Resurection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)
This beloved Christmas classic celebrating its 70th anniversary brings to light a few connections likely not realized about Stewart and George Bailey.
In a way, Jimmy Stewart was Everyman. Even playing a senator, heroic aviator, or cowboy, he was the quintessential “regular guy,” plain and simple, without airs. He was the guy trying to solve his dilemma and overcome conflicts without losing integrity or sacrificing principles … when Stewart was leaving for Air Force duty as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War II. His father slipped a copy of Psalm 91 into his uniform pocket, telling his son to pray it often — it would help him get through the war safely.
“You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day (v.5)…though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right side, near you it shall not come (v.7)…For to his angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways (v.11). Upon their hand they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone (v.12)…Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name (v.14).”
Read the rest of the article here. It is truly worth the few minutes it will take.
The practice is common in the Catholic Church as an act of both penance and charity. In addition, the Methodist church teaches that the works of mercy are a means of grace which lead to holiness and aid in sanctification.
The works of mercy have been traditionally divided into two categories, each with seven elements:
- “Corporal works of mercy” which concern the material needs of others.
- “Spiritual works of mercy” which concern the spiritual needs of others.
Saint Pope John Paul II issued a papal encyclical “Dives in misericordia” on 30 November 1980 declaring that “Jesus Christ taught that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called “to practice mercy” towards others. Another notable devotion associated with the works of mercy is the Divine Mercy, which are reputed to be apparitions of Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina Kowalska.