The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are actions we can perform that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need.
The corporal works of mercy are kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs.
feed the hungry
give drink to the thirsty
clothe the naked
shelter the homeless
visit the sick
visit the imprisoned
bury the dead
The spiritual works of mercy are acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs.
counsel the doubtful
instruct the ignorant
comfort the afflicted
bear wrongs patiently
pray for the living and the dead
Wording of these lists sometimes varies, but what is important to remember is:
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. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2447)
The Works of Mercy for Families (50-pack)
In The Works of Mercy, beautiful artwork surrounds the words taken from the Gospel of Matthew. One side shows the Corporal Works of Mercy and the other shows the Spiritual Works of Mercy.