Service Reflection SummaryThe Spiritual Works of Mercy minister to the soul.
Instruct the ignorant: tutor someone and share your skills and knowledge; give surplus books and magazines to a senior center, school, library, or mail to an organization that distributes them to underprivileged nations. Pass on an article or book that touched you
Counsel the doubtful: listen to friends when they have a problem; write love notes to family members and hide them in their dresser drawers, lunch boxes, or coat pockets; befriend a new classmate. Formal and informal counseling on all levels and in all areas
Correct sinners Writing, speaking, witnessing for the faith; This work of mercy must be done in union with the following ones on patience, forgiveness, and comfort, because all correction must be given in charity and with sensitivity toward the feelings of the one being corrected.
Bear wrongs patiently: Help someone find something lost; give a gift of flowers or a plant to someone who rubs you the wrong way (you might even do it secretly); listen attentively.
Forgive offenses: Not only those done to us personally but also those done to others and done by those in authority, and relatives; recommend someone you may see as a competitor.
Comfort the afflicted: Offering a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a hug, a pat on the back; sending sympathy cards; cleaning house, or running errands for shut ins or those suffering loss of loved ones; go to a movie or the mall with a person who needs some cheering up; share a funny comic strip or joke; visit those in hospitals or nursing homes who have no visitors; write a note of encouragement to someone who has received sad news; say “Good morning” to everyone you meet; pass on positive news;.
Pray for the living and the dead:
Offering Masses; praying rosaries; praying for intentions of others; tell someone you love them and are praying for them.
The Corporal Works of Mercy minister to the physical body.
Feed the hungry In one’s family; soup kitchen work; donating to and working in food pantries; invite those who live alone for a meal including holiday meals; leave a muffin or cookies for your garbage collector, paper carrier, teacher, police or fire station, town hall, or mail delivery person; help folks load their groceries into their cars or hold their umbrella if it’s raining;
Give drink to the thirsty All of those listed under Feed the hungry as well as donating beverages to social gatherings; working for clean water laws; bring a cool drink to someone on a hot day.
Clothe the naked: Donating used clothing; conducting clothing drives; making sure one’s family is adequately clothed;
Shelter the homeless: Working in and supporting homeless shelters; housecleaning; plant trees and flowers.
Visit the sick and imprisoned: Visiting by phone call, letter, email, or in person those in hospitals, become a voluntary companion for an elderly person; share musical or story telling talents with the elderly; offer to babysit; do chores for the homebound.
Ransom the captive: offer to help someone who needs time off, babysitting for free, helping a teacher, parent or neighbor so they can relax; reporting abuse; working for peace; clean up graffiti; offer to write letters for someone who can’t.
Bury the dead: putting past offenses to rest; aid of any sort to survivors.