Spiritual Works of Mercy

Mercy is responding to the suffering of another through acts of love.

Jesus spoke of God the Father doing good for even the ungrateful and the wicked. He then said that we should be merciful too.

Being merciful goes beyond meeting the material needs of others. Spiritual suffering can be even greater than physical suffering.

Through words and prayers, the spiritual works of mercy meet those needs that cannot be physicaly seen or touched.

By admonishing sinners, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead we provide spiritual support to those in need.

By practicing the spiritual works of mercy, we bring the works of mercy to completion.

Responding to the pain of others:

Caring for the spiritual wellness of those in need:

The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2447

More than a list:

Images of mercy:

There are also, however, seven other works of mercy called “spiritual”, which pertain to other equally important needs, especially today, because they touch the person’s soul, and often create the greatest suffering. We certainly remember a phrase which has entered into the common language: “Bear wrongs patiently”. And there are; there are troublesome people! It might seem like a minor thing which makes us smile, but instead contains a feeling of profound charity; it is the same for the other six [spiritual works of mercy], which are good to remember: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, console the afflicted, pardon offences, pray to God for the living and the dead. These are daily things!

Pope Francis, General Audience, October 12, 2016

Acting with humility, patience, and tact:

Spiritual works require no permission or materials:

If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

1 John 3: 17-18

United with each other by God:

Cooperating with the Holy Spirit:

Reflecting our gratitude for God’s merciful love:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A living example of the works of mercy:

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