The Spiritual works of mercy

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.

corporal works of mercy

Feed the hungry

Everyone needs food for their body. It is an act of love to help others to obtain their bodily nourishment, especially those in greatest need.


Bringing food to the poor

Donating money to buy food for the poor

Sharing your food or candy

Helping to shop for groceries

Helping with the cooking

Doing dishes

Waiting on company

Give drink to the thirsty

What is said of food also applies to drink.


Giving someone a drink on a hot day

Giving the baby its bottle

Pouring drinks at the table

Lifting up a young child to get a drink at a water fountain

Clothe the Naked

Everyone needs clothing for warmth, protection, modesty and dignity. It is an act of love to help others obtain clothing, especially those who need help.


Bringing clothes to a needy family

Sharing outgrown clothes with another family

Bringing clothes to a clothing drive

Helping a young child get dressed

Helping with laundry at home

Visit the imprisoned

Those in prison and many other persons and their families suffer hindrances or dangers to freedom. Helping them, visiting them or protecting them

is an act of love.


Visiting prisoners

Fighting for humane treatment for the imprisoned

Helping to care for the families of the imprisoned

Protecting a little child from a bigger child

Taking care of and protecting the baby

Fighting for one’s country

Shelter the homeless

Everyone needs shelter. Some people live in cardboard homes; some people live in homes made of discarded materials; many people are homeless. To

help the homeless obtain shelter or to preserve it is an act of love.


Bringing others to your home in times of fire, floods, or other disaster

Working at or supporting a homeless shelter

Helping to take care of the house

Dusting the furniture

Making the beds

Cleaning the floor

Cutting the grass

Visit the sick

Helping sick people in any way is an act of love.


Visiting someone in the hospital or nursing home

Visiting someone who is sick at home or the elderly who are shut-ins

Running an errand for an elderly or sick person

Reading to the sick or elderly

Bury the dead

It is an act of love to show respect for the bodies of the dead, since during life, they were temples of the Holy Spirit and received the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion.


Going to funerals and wakes

Treating cemeteries with respect

Cutting the grass on a grave

Putting flowers on it