Matthew 25:36: “…in prison and you visited me.’”
“Imprisoned” can mean many things. It may oftentimes mean the literal imprisonment of those who have committed crimes. “You do the crime, you do the time.” And so people regard with indifference or contempt those who are in jail.
While by no means suggesting that those in prison do not deserve their punishment, many in jail have repented of their crimes and corresponding sins. The intransigent and unrepentant, well, their place is deserved. But for those who have come to terms with the reality of what they did and why they are in prison, their spiritual needs must be met. There are plenty of opportunities for people in communities all over to visit those in prison and minister to them. Participate in a prayer group or Bible or Catechism Study. Whatever, just show them that there are people on the “outside” who haven’t forgotten them. One good organization is “Kairos Prison Ministry International”:
There are other forms of imprisonment. Addiction is a prime example and perhaps the reason why you are reading this blog.
I wrote a poem, it was triggered by an old AA friend from my old hometown who was picked up for DWI for the umteenth time:
Alone in Jail
I sit in the cell, trapped.
Trapped in the prison of my mind.
I wish to scream “Let me out!”
But the mind has no voice, silenced by shame.
My prison, and I am my jailer, and I have lost the key.
Perhaps you can be the key to let the prisoner of addiction out of their jail cell. Reach out and extend help. If they take the help, follow through! If they reject it, wait and offer it again when they are ready.
Although it may not seem like it, another way for people to be imprisoned is overt attraction to the things of “the world.” Be it money, power, lust, fine clothes and an outward appearance (at the expense of the inward appearance), such things imprison you as they get in the way of your true self. They are hardly satisfying. Do they help you in your relationship with God?
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