Now edifying doesn't mean going around saying nice things all the time. When you build up a building, you do many different tasks. Some of them might look pretty destructive in isolation, but it is all part of the great project. The Church has provided further guidance in the old spiritual works of mercy, which we don't hear much about anymore (like so much else).
- To instruct the ignorant;
- To counsel the doubtful;
- To admonish sinners;
- To bear wrongs patiently;
- To forgive offenses willingly;
- To comfort the afflicted;
- To pray for the living and the dead.
Add to that the commission to spread the Gospel. The Bear supposes God expects you to use common sense in doing these things. The Bear tries to offer a little instruction (not to imply his readers are ignorant, or he's all that smart); to occasionally counsel the doubtful; to comfort the afflicted; and, once in awhile, to admonish sinners. Being a Bear, he is probably not doing a very good job, since to chase horses and to eat honey aren't on the list.
He does, however, remind you of this sound counsel of the Church. You can keep it in mind, if you wish, as a sort of mental checklist of things you should be doing. Certainly, we can all at least forgive offenses patiently and pray for the living and the dead.
And those are just the spiritual works of mercy. Here are the corporal works of mercy.
- To feed the hungry;
- To give drink to the thirsty;
- To clothe the naked;
- To harbor the harborless (or shelter the homeless);
- To visit the sick;
- To ransom the captive (or visit the prisoner);
- To bury the dead.
If you do these things, you will please God.