January 25, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, someone who was giving a talk on the Jubilee Year of Mercy reminded her audience of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, which don’t get nearly so much attention as the corporal works. I think that’s probably because many people practice some or all of the corporal works of mercy.
They give food and drink to those who are hungry and thirsty by donating their time, food, beverages, clothing, furniture or funds to persons in shelters and food kitchens. They visit the sick in the hospital. Ransoming the captive might be a stretch, but they do bury the dead by attending funerals and supporting survivors in many ways.
The spiritual works are not so well known and they might just be a little more challenging. At least, I think so. Here they are.
Spiritual Works of Mercy
To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To admonish the sinner.
To bear wrongs patiently.
To forgive offenses willingly.
To comfort the afflicted.
To pray for the living and the dead.
Well, I can see a few there which challenge me. For example, I am much better at afflicting the comfortable than I am at comforting the afflicted. What about you?
The USCCB website has
dedicated to the Spiritual Works, what they mean and how you and I can practice them.