Do Catholics take seriously the corporal work of mercy to visit those in prison? Do Catholic parishes and colleges or universities have this on their radar?
First, students at law schools in some Catholic universities have participated in “innocence projects” that have led courts to release certain prisoners who did not commit the crime for which they have been found guilty and imprisoned. Some parishes have prison ministry groups.
Second, other Catholics write to those imprisoned or else assist them in readjusting when they have served their sentence. For our March 2018 issue, Jim Auer wrote “I Was in Prison and You Wrote to Me” about his 12 years of writing to many prisoners. That article included the URLs of groups that can link prisoners and writers outside. Anyone willing to write a prisoner but who lacks computer access can contact Inside Out Letter Ministry at PO Box 11, Cherryville, NC 28021.
Many of my friends ask me: “If Jesus has already died for my sins and paid for them, why can’t I sin now?”
I’m afraid this solution to dealing with temptation is too simple to be true. If Jesus died for the sins of the world, would it be OK if I robbed your home? Every attempted shortcut around God’s ways turns out to be a dead end. In the long run, we become whatever we choose consistently. May Jesus help all of us to grow in his grace and love.