THE 7 SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are oriented toward the soul. Though ideally applicable for all faithful, not everyone is considered capable or obligated to perform the first three Spiritual Works of Mercy be- fore they possess the proper tact, knowledge or canonical training to do so. The remaining four Spiritual Works of Mercy are considered to be an obligation of all faithful to practice unconditionally.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy and their Holy Scripture references are:
|Admonish the Sinner||Proverbs 27:17|
|Instruct the Ignorant||Matthew 28:19-20|
|Counsel the Doubtful||Matthew 13:18-23|
|Bear Wrongs Patiently||Matthew 5:38-48|
|Forgive Offenses Willingly||Matthew 6:14-15; 18:15-35|
|Comfort the Afflicted||Psalms 9:8-11; 22:23-27, Psalms 27:4-5; 30:2-4, Psalms 46:2; 55:22, Psalms 56; 71:20-22, Psalms 116; 119:49-50|
|Pray for the Living and the Dead||2 Maccabees 38-46|
THE 7 CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
The Corporal Works of Mercy are oriented toward the body. Six of the seven are mentioned in Matthew 25:31-40 — although not precisely — as the reason for the salvation of the saved, while Matthew 25:41-46 exhorts the omission of them as the reason for damnation. As deprivation of burial was viewed with horror by the Jews, the seventh Corporal Work of Mercy (Tobit 1:17-19) was later added.
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy and their Holy Scripture references are:
|Feed the Hungry||Proverbs 22:9|
|Give Drink to the Thirsty||Isaiah 55:1|
|Clothe the Naked||Matthew 25:36|
|Shelter the Homeless||Matthew 25:35|
|Visit the Sick||Matthew 25:36|
|Visit the Imprisoned||Matthew 25:36|
|Bury the Dead||Tobit 1:17-19|
Source: Diocese of Fort Worth, Indiana
In 2016, Pope Francis declared Care for Creation a Work of Mercy https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-declares-care-for-creation-a-new-work-of-mercy-72269
The Works of Mercy by the Master of Alkmaar made for the Church of Saint Lawrence in Alkmaar, Netherlands. The wooden panels show the works of mercy in this order: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, shelter the traveler, comfort the sick, and free the imprisoned. Circa 1504. Source:Wikimedia Commons For more artistic representations go to Wikimedia Commons.
The Canadian Bishops Office for Evangelization and Catechesis have produced two resources to help teach the Corporal Works of Mercy Ages 6-8 | ages 9-11
The Eight Works of Mercy by Anna Rowlands & Robert Czerny (Thinking Faith) ‘In today’s world, hunger, violence and poverty cannot be understood apart from the changes and degradation affecting the environment.’ Pope Francis’ recognition of this led him to introduce an eighth work of mercy in 2016: ‘care for our common home’. Anna Rowlands and Robert Czerny survey the long and living tradition in which this new work of mercy stands.
US Bishops and Works of Mercy also see Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy during COVID-19