The Spiritual Works of Mercy

The Spiritual Works of Mercy entail caring for the souls of others.

I.  To Admonish Sinners:

Jesus commanded, ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.’ (Mt 18:15-17).

II.  To Teach the Ignorant: 

Jesus commanded, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Mt 28:19-20).

III.  To Counsel the Doubtful:

Jesus commanded, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’ (Mk 11:22-24)

IV.  To Comfort the Afflicted:

Jesus commanded, ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Mt 11:29)

V.  To Bear Wrongs Patiently: 

Jesus commanded, ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also’
(Mt 5:38- 39)

VI.  To Forgive Offences Willingly: 

Jesus commanded, ‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses’ (Mk 11:25-26.

VII.  To Pray For the Living and the Dead:

Jesus commanded, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.’ (Mt 7:7)

The Corporal Works of Mercy

The Corporal Works of Mercy entails caring for the bodies of others. They are rooted in the command of Jesus Christ.

I.  To feed the hungry: 

‘For I was hungry and you gave me to eat.’ Mt. 25:35

II.   To give drink to the thirsty:

‘…I was thirsty and you gave me to drink…’ Mt. 25:35

III.  To clothe the naked:

‘I was…naked and you clothed me…’ Mt. 25:36

IV.  To visit the imprisoned: 

‘I was in prison and you came to me.’ Mt. 25:36

V.  To shelter the homeless:

‘…I was a stranger and you took me in…’ Mt. 25:35

VI.  To visit the sick:

‘…I was sick and you cared for me…’ Mt. 25:36

VII.  To bury the dead:

‘Insofar as you did it for one of these least of my brothers, you did it for me.’ Mt. 25:40

This article can be found in Mirror 0216.