Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy at RAA
What are the works of Mercy?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2447 reads:
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.
The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.
Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:
“He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do
likewise.” Lk 3:11
“But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean
for you.” Lk 11:41
“If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to
them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the
body, what does it profit?” Jas 2:15-16:cf. 1Jn 3:17
What does this mean for Catholics?
As Catholics, we are obliged to perform the works of mercy, to the degree in which we are able and according to the needs of our neighbors.
It’s also important to note that everyday, “ordinary” acts of service done to relieve the corporal or spiritual needs of others are considered true works of mercy, if done in the name of Christ.
Examples of these works of mercy that may be seen as “ordinary” include caring for a young child, teaching about the faith, being a caretaker for an older parent or family member.
In total, there are 7 Spiritual works of Mercy and 7 Corporal Works of Mercy.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
1. Counsel the doubtful
2. Instruct the ignorant
3. Admonish the sinner
4. Comfort the afflicted
5. Forgive offenses
6. Bear wrongs patiently
7. Pray for the living and the dead.
The Corporal Works of Mercy
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. House the homeless
5. Visit the imprisoned
6. Visit the sick
7. Bury the dead.
RAA and the Works of Mercy:
Regina Angelorum Academy includes the Works of Mercy in their Catholic Elementary School. Most recently, RAA is incorporating the Works of Mercy into their Lenten season, with each week having a focused theme.
Each week RAA will act on the following Works of Mercy.
Spiritual Work of Mercy-Pray for the Living and the Dead
Spiritual Work of Mercy-Counsel the Doubtful
Corporal Work of Mercy-Feed the Hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy- Forgive Offenses Willingly
Corporal Work of Mercy-Visit the Imprisoned
Spiritual Work of Mercy-Comfort the Afflicted
Spiritual Work of Mercy-Bear Wrongs Patiently
Activities planned for these weeks include: a food drive for the hungry, Novena to St. Joseph, a hygiene drive collecting toiletries for the homeless, receiving the sacrament of confession, participating in mass, and recognizing the Stations of the Cross.
The weeks of Lent are a great opportunity for the students at Regina Angelorum Academy to learn more about and act out the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. The students will also be recognizing how these Works of Mercy go hand in hand with the three Lenten pillars: prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.
These themes are core to the mission at RAA, as they recognize the importance of learning and practicing the truths of the Catholic Faith and believe they are central to the development of each child.