Spiritual Works of Mercy
Convert the sinners
It is an act of love to try to make another realize how bad sin is. This might be done by trying to keep him out of sin or an occasion of sin, or by trying to get him to confession. In cases where we think it might make him worse, we do not correct him directly. We can let him know indirectly, especially by our example, that we do not approve of his actions.
Instruct the ignorant
It in an act of love to help others in one way or another to learn the truths they need to know to save their souls.
Counsel the doubtful
It is an act of love to help others to be certain about what they should do to love and serve God. Many souls could be saved if Catholics would make the effort to speak the truth in love to their neighbors.
Comfort the sorrowful
It is an act of love to help another person in any kind of sorrow, and to refrain from doing anything that would unnecessarily cause another person more sorrow.
Bear wrongs patiently
It is an act of love to accept the consequences of another’s thoughtlessness or carelessness and to suffer inconveniences which another should bear. This is the example given to us by Jesus who suffered greatly for us all when he was innocent.
Forgive offenses willingly
It is an act of deep love to forgive all those who have injured us in any way, even deliberately and with malice. Christ demands that His followers have great love and forgiveness for one another and even for our enemies in imitation of His own forgiveness of us and of His enemies as He hung on the cross. In His almighty wisdom, God knows that failing to forgive causes further injury to the person originally injured.
Pray for the living and the dead
Sharing in the communion of saints demands that we pray for everyone. This is a great means of spreading the fires of love to others, whether in this world or in purgatory. Prayers for the dead at a cemetery carry special graces.