The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
Feed the Hungary
Food is a fundamental and basic human need. Food is what nourishes us in order to be able to simply live. Feeding the hungry means providing nourishment through charity and hospitality. You can do this by working at a soup kitchen, inviting some friends over for a meal, sharing a snack with someone whose forgotten their lunch, or giving someone on the street a sandwich.
Give Drink to the Thirsty
Water is the very essence of life. To give drink to the thirsty is to offer them life itself. Giving drink to the thirsty can be lived out by volunteering at a soup kitchen, contributing funds to clean water and well projects in underdeveloped countries or even within a family, as a mother provides food and drink to her children. Also be mindful of your own water consumption and try not to waste water.
Give Alms to the Poor
There are many ways to give. Some donate to charitable organizations, others might volunteer their time working with the needy. One idea is to skip a drink, coffee or meal out each week and instead give the money you would have spent to a charitable organization or to put in the church collection basket. However you give, consider giving a little more time, energy or money during this Year of Mercy.
Shelter the Homeless
Having a roof over our heads is a basic human need. Sheltering the homeless can take many forms. Some include: giving time or money to a homeless ministry, hosting someone like a religious pilgrim, speaker or clergy member, supporting ministries that work with the displaced or refugees, or volunteering to help build houses through an organization like Habitat for Humanity.
Visit the Sick
Visiting the sick can mean going to the hospital and praying with patients there, bringing a sick family member or friend flowers or something to eat, visiting a nursing home, or offering someone going through an illness support. Our health is a gift and blessing. Let us make a special effort to reach out to those in need this year.
Visit the imprisioned
Visiting the imprisoned can be difficult to participate in without special clearance or permission. If you find yourself unable to physically visit the imprisoned, try getting involved in a ministry that writes letters to the imprisoned or one that organizes retreats for them. Those incarcerated, and their families, can always use prayers.
Bury the Dead
During funerals, we mourn the loss of life. As Christians, we live in the hope of the Resurrection. Participate in this work of mercy by offering condolences or sending a card to someone whose lost a loved one. Pray for those who have gone before you whenever you pass a cemetery or go to a cemetery intentionally to pray.