What are the works of mercy? They represent a very important issue for the Catholic Church. There are many actions of kindness and love that believers and faithful carry out all over the world every day. Learn about these works by reading the content of this article.
What are the works of mercy?
All actions full of charity that any person without distinction of religious culture performs to help other people are considered, in the case that corresponds to us, the works of mercy are established of two types, Spiritual and corporal.
Within the actions of these works, the concept of carrying out actions that touch the spirit of the person who receives it is handled, that is, they are advised, taught, consoled and comfort the affected person, they are included within the spiritual type.
On the other hand, it is important to know that corporal works of mercy are those where the actions are aimed at feeding, curing illnesses, cleaning wounds, quenching thirst, clothing the naked, etc. alms is considered an action of mercy apart from those named above, but it is established as an action of brotherly charity.
Every Catholic believer must establish during the time of jubilee what actions of a spiritual and corporal nature must be carried out during that period, these actions awaken the conscience of any human being, observe the reality of the most needy, allow to open and soften the heart of many
The poor are the privileged of divine grace, and the works have to be directed with the goodness of God. The greatest example of these actions should also be encouraged in young people, so that from an early age the works of mercy for children also represent a teaching element in their daily chores so they can learn about the works of Jesus.
In this article we will show all the works of mercy that every Christian must carry out in his life, it is not a mandatory action, it is an act of renewal, kindness, love and faith, which we must demonstrate not only to God but to our neighbor.
Types of Mercy
We had explained that the actions are classified into two types, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy , each one establishes seven ways of proceeding in goodness and love, however there are other works of mercy that little by little we will describe, for the moment Let’s see the main ones.
Corporal Works of Mercy
They are works that are carried out in order to help people physically, paying attention and support to those most in need. The seven works of mercy are established by those who make a description that establishes the following:
“When the Son of man comes, surrounded by his glory, accompanied by all his angels, he will sit on his throne of glory. Then all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will set the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.”
“Then the king will say to those on the right: ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
“The righteous will then answer him: Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and host you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or imprisoned and go see you?”
“And the king will say to them: I assure you that, when you did it with the most insignificant of my brothers, you did it with me. Then he will also say to those on the left: Depart from me, you cursed; go to the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you did not give me food, thirsty and you did not give me drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”
“Then they will answer him: Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or imprisoned and did we not help you? And he will reply: I assure you that, when you did not do it with one of those most insignificant, you did not do it with me either. Then these will go to eternal punishment and the righteous to eternal life.
The corporal works of mercy are based on a long list of actions described by Jesus Christ when he relates everything related to the final judgment, it is considered that each action related to kindness towards the most needy, will then begin to be established in the Church as the most important works of mercy, let’s see each one.
to feed the hungry
It is a way of granting divine grace to those who suffer from hunger, every human being has the right to food, and for God each one should have something to eat every day, the help that each Catholic must grant to those most in need, establishes as priority considers the hunger of others a form of search to survive.
Jesus Christ often said in his travels some metaphor or indication regarding the poor and hunger:
“He who has two tunics should share them with the one who does not have; whoever has to eat should do the same»
Give drink to the thirsty
Like the first work of mercy, thirst is an element that can harm the health of any person and even more so when they lack the simple forms of basic need, such as thirst as a result of lack of water, this action It is one of the most important and Jesus relates it to hunger in the Bible when he speaks of eliminating hunger, he also establishes quenching thirst.
The relationship of thirst is cataloged not only as the absence of water, in spiritual terms it is established as the lack or limitation of criteria of faith, where quenching means granting water of life that can fill and quench the spiritual soul of humans.
Give lodging to the pilgrim
Receiving a person at home means something risky, when there is any doubt about this work of mercy. Centuries ago and during the time of Jesus, accommodating many travelers who came from different places represented an act of charity, however some people were harmed because, as they had no guarantee of the sobriety of the travelers, they had been robbed and even women raped.
Providing support to pilgrims establishes a way for Catholics to provide accommodation and support for the Christian cause. In many Christian communities, support for groups of Catholics visiting other countries is organized with the aim of providing accommodation in various nearby places where make the pilgrimage.
This charity work is a bit complicated to carry out today, the social conditions have totally changed, in the past giving accommodation to travelers represented a matter of life and death. The Christian brothers who travel the world pilgrimage of the word and Catholicism, help for pastoral missions must be granted without charging any change. In ancient times, lodging travelers was a matter of life and death.
If one day you have to give accommodation to a person who really needs it, first analyze if that person comes with actions in good faith, otherwise it is difficult to do so and not risk your life, only known family and friends can choose today to give accommodation, as an act of mercy and necessity.
dressing the naked
This work of mercy is considered an action where the one who requests it is going through a situation of basic need. The dress is part of the social evolution of the human being, clothing as such has had various changes over the years, for protection against the weather and bad weather, as well as an article to look better.
However, the dress, clothing and clothing simply serve as a need for human protection where each person must have a respective clothing. At present it is important to demonstrate this work of mercy, delivering clothes that are no longer used, to the places where they are collected.
The Catholic Church has many places, especially chapels and the churches themselves, that receive used clothing in order to deliver it to people who truly need it. This act of kindness is voluntary and has been one of the forms of mercy.
At the moment of handing over our clothes, it is good to think that we can give from what is left over or that no longer serves us, but we can also give from what is still useful. Corporal established by Jesus. Santiago’s letter sets forth a rather interesting description:
“If a brother or a sister is naked and lacks daily sustenance, and one of you says to them: Go in peace, be warm or fed, but you do not give them what is necessary for the body, what is the use?”
visit the sick
It is one of the most beautiful works of mercy, being present next to a human being who suffers from an illness, we all know how complicated it is to be inactive and suffer from ailments, as well as being limited in movement and not leading a normal life, I came due to some type of genetic and pathogenic deficiency or due to an accident
In those moments, a quite noble and peaceful company is required, where the patient is conversed and helped during his illness, mercy with patients in a state of terminal illness is vital, to help them free their spirit of evil and deliver them to the doors. of God.
Jesus Christ healed thousands of sick people who he only asked them to have faith, since for him, it was the only way in which any sick person could get out of his illness, the kindness to care for the sick is considered an act of faith to a greater degree , in the world there are various charity congregations dedicated solely to strengthening and helping the sick.
Remember that if you have a sick family member, dedicate a few days to be by their side, help them and offer them everything necessary to reduce their illness, it never hurts to accompany a friend or relative who suffers from an illness.
Although it is currently difficult to go to a prison in order to provide support and shelter to an inmate, it is always important to be aware of their needs, especially to support them mentally and spiritually, so that it serves as help and learning to improve as a prisoner. person and correct their mistakes.
Helping the incarcerated begins from the moment the inmate himself agrees to receive the visit and then accepts the need for help, at which point the job of every good Catholic is to bring him to the grace of God, who is the only one in charge of provide the spiritual tools with which you will get ahead in life.
In other times this action was directed to the liberation of slaves and hostages, who in times of the Roman Empire, lived considerable inhumane situation, many Saints dedicated their lives to the protection and help of the imprisoned.
bury the deceased
Although it may seem ironic, after Jesus died he did not have a place to bury him, his friends Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were the ones who lent him a place to bury him, but as we all know momentarily, because the Messiah had risen three days later.
Every deceased deserves a dignified burial, human beings as children of God are obliged to offer, regardless of race, creed or social status, a dignified burial for each person. However, apart from being a religious cultural tradition, it is also an act of health, especially in wars, where the burial of fallen soldiers was extremely necessary.
As we all know, bodies starting to decompose can cause infections and diseases. These burials were done through mass cremations where the bodies, after giving them some kind of blessing, proceeded to cremate them in groups.
Nowadays it is not necessary to place the dead under the ground, there are different procedures where each person and especially the relatives, decide how they will carry out the burial of the family member or friend. The important thing is that for human dignity and simply because they are children of God, each person deserves a burial according to their condition.
These corporal works do not have a specific order, they are not categorized or cataloged as more important than one another, together they represent acts of works of mercy that every Catholic and respectable person can perform towards their brothers.
spiritual works of mercy
These works of mercy differ from the previous ones since they are intangible, they are represented by actions in order to alleviate emotions, improve characters, correct behaviors, etc. Catholics always carry a spiritual work of mercy on their side, they think all the time about what they can do each day.
An advice to a young person who is in bad steps represents a work of mercy, correcting a child who is acting in a disorderly manner is an act of spiritual mercy, in a way that we help those who truly need it.
For their part, the spiritual works of mercy established by the Church and taken from a number of works carried out by Jesus embodied in the sacred book, these teachings of Jesus represent the basic guide for his action.
Teach the one who doesn’t know
This type of mercy is part of the actions that must be charged with humility, when a person is unaware of the lake, it is difficult for him to face learning, due to fear of ridicule or contempt, ignorance is an evil, it is a condition of limitation, where the person did not have the means to obtain information on some topic or situation.
Catholics must face the teaching of spiritual values to anyone who does not really know what the value of life with God is, take time to dedicate a few minutes in order to teach someone who can understand some topic or situation, it is kindness spiritual.
The means for this learning can be very diverse, people must act according to what their heart commands, trying to understand the situation of the other person (Empathy) is what allows establishing the necessary help.
The book of Daniel explains the following: “Those who teach justice to the multitude, will shine like the stars in perpetual eternity”, this condition of having the will to teach is a blessing from God, being able to create actions that help anyone to get out of the world of ignorance, and above all the spiritual is always well rewarded by the creator.
Give good advice to those who need it
For this type of work of mercy, you have to be very tactful, observation, people who seek advice or help generally ask for it, many times it turns out that advice is given to people who do not need it, therefore the sense of the work of mercy.
The Holy Spirit grants this gift in order to establish a direct connection with God, it is not simply to give his own opinions, it is to establish a relationship between the problem or situation of the person and unite them with the divine virtues, so that he can be oriented towards the good things and full of value.
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of counsel. Therefore, whoever intends to give good advice must, first of all, be in tune with God, since it is not about giving personal opinions, but about giving good advice to those in need of guidance.
Correct the one who is wrong
When a person commits a sin, it is important that in a discreet way he is made aware of his mistake, it is good that the correction is not made noticeable in front of other people, correcting is a somewhat delicate act of will, many sin due to ignorance, and sometimes the actions they perform are considered by the person as valid and good.
Each human being considers within their mind that they are doing good, that they have rights over others because their own will decides so, but these people do not take into account that there are special patterns granted by God.
Justice, kindness, rectitude and a huge list of virtues that govern behavior are determined in them. The correction carried out by Christians is established within a unique form of divine virtues where each action is determined in order to do good.
In the case of the family, it is important to value each member and establish the levels of correction according to God. Matthew explains how Jesus describes this process:
“If your brother sins, go talk to him alone and rebuke him. If he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
The correction that is made to the neighbor must be done with meekness and humility, even if it is difficult to do it, it is important since the values of God must prevail to avoid inconveniences.
Forgive the one who offends us
Considered as a special virtue, forgiveness is a work of mercy that contains a high level of spiritual capacity, for any human being who does not share Christianity or another spiritual current, it is extremely difficult to establish forgiveness towards another person, and even more if there has been an offense.
This condition is basically found when we pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we also forgive those who trespass against us”, Jesus Christ complements by saying: “If you forgive the trespasses of men, the Heavenly Father will also forgive you. On the other hand, if you do not forgive the offenses of men, the Father will not forgive you either ”
The wisdom of Jesus surpasses the limits of intelligence of any man, with wise and basic words, he helped many to understand his word: Catholics understand that to forgive means to overcome and eliminate vengeance and resentment from their thoughts, the best lesson towards whom offends us is friendly treatment.
Many times these behaviors are taken by the one who offended as a weakness of the offended, however, the natural nobility that the human being has, and granted by God, allows to establish the reflection in each man, so that he reaches repentance for having caused the offense.
Forgiveness is individual, it is a decision of each human being, the virtues of each one, allow us to consider how to forgive those who offend, it is a very difficult spiritual capacity to develop, it is only achieved by seeking God.
Jesus forgave all those who tried to harm him and even in this passage from the Bible a great demonstration of forgiveness can be seen: “Now then, do not be sad or regret having sold me here; for to preserve lives God sent me ahead of you”
But the greatest forgiveness ever heard was when Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Suffer with patience the defects of others
In the world there are many people who have physical, mental and material disadvantages, also the most affected are those who have intellectual and spiritual deficiencies, in these cases it is important to use more comprehensive strategies with respect to action.
That is, it is important to maintain discretion and try to put yourself in the person’s place in order to understand and understand how you can lead a life with limitations, there is a very useful advice that is used and it goes like this:
“When enduring these defects causes more harm than good, with much charity and gentleness, the warning must be given.”
The defects are not a disease, it may be that they come from natural or causal limitations, but in their majority they are imperfections that each person acquires in their life and in other cases they are born with them, this situation must be taken naturally, so that the harmed can develop pleasant spaces and at the same time feel integrated in this world.
console the sad
There is no better addiction than sitting next to someone who is sad and giving them a hug, then listening to the reason for their sadness and then giving them a few words of encouragement,
sadness is a condition that forms when values and situations create confusion and frustration, goals are obstructed and spiritual limitations grow; Sadness can come in various forms, due to the loss of a family member, a destroyed sentimental relationship, a frustrated business, in short, any adverse situation can lead to sadness.
The advice to the sad, represents an important work of mercy, the necessary accompaniment helps the sad to feel a little better, the Bible expresses a way how sadness can be corrected, and we show the case of the son of Naim let’s see:
“When he approached the city gate, they took out a dead man to be buried, the only son of his mother, who was a widow, who was accompanied by many people from the city. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her: Do not cry. And, approaching, she touched the coffin. Those who were carrying him stopped, and he said: Young man, I say to you: get up. The dead man sat up and began to talk, and he gave it to his mother.”
The resurrection in other people that Jesus used, served to directly relieve sadness, death is an element that causes a lot of sadness, but time is medicine, each of these elements were created by God, as a way to maintain feelings stable man, without sadness there would be no happiness.
Pray for the living and dead
One of Jesus’ disciples, Paul recommended praying for everyone, regardless of distinction, just as you pray for rulers and reasonable people in power. Prayer has a power that until now few know, it is an energy, a force from God that allows tangible goals to be achieved in the vine.
When a person dies it is important to pray for his soul, the dead who are in pain depend on our prayers, it is considered a good work of mercy, in order to free them from their sins.
The effects of the works
The effects of doing good works of mercy implies that those who do it receive the grace and goodness of God, Jesus said: “Give, and it will be given to you”. So that with the actions the will of God is carried out, if it is given that it belongs to us, whether it is material or not, we will always receive something that is needed.
The works of mercy help to gradually erase the sorrows that remain in our soul due to the action of sins already forgiven, so that good actions activate elements that leave hardships aside.
When Jesus said: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”, he is simply saying that the effects of a good action are rewarded with the same action, being merciful helps elevate the spirit and allows one to achieve levels of fullness and well-being in life.
Every good deed allows us to pave the way to heaven, the more we try to resemble Jesus, the more our spiritual wisdom will be, the attitude towards other people who need us, determines the change in life, in spirituality and above all in the environment. Also be clear about how many are the works of mercy
Jesus showed that direct kindness from God is achieved through mercy and says
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”
Who does the works?
All human beings have the capacity and the will to carry out works of mercy, some have not discovered why life is really established, God through many works of kindness has created wisdom, which is simply the reflection of do good towards others, in its various aspects, spiritual and material.
Much has been written about mercy, Pope Francis recently called all Catholics to the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”, made a series of recommendations, which establish the following:
- Develop the greatest efficiency in works of mercy.
- Dedicate part of the daily time to help those most in need
- Ask the Church, chapels, and other spiritual places for spaces to feed, clothe, and welcome the sick and those most in need.
Inform all the faithful who are willing to support the Holy Father in order to carry out this mission.
Catholics must keep in mind that one of the most important missions in their lives is to know how many works of mercy they are able to carry out throughout their lives; That is why the Church considers the need to create the contemplation of the mystery of mercy in the masses, it is considered a source of joy and happiness, it helps to achieve peace and serenity.
Mercy is the last act in which God comes to meet us, it is the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every human being, it is the path that unites God and man, it allows opening the heart to any person who wishes to be loved by the goodness of God, and deserves to go to the limit to forgive our sins.
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