Day 246 – Mrs. Flusche’s Super Basic Primer on the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy (Part I)

The patriarchs of the Old Testament, Vatican Museum

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 –

Welcome back! In this set of Super Basic Primers we are going to finish off the overarching discussion of Works of Mercy by focusing on the specific Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Again, why do we need Works of Mercy? To satisfy (eliminate) the temporal punishment of sin. Here is what the Baltimore Catechism #3 says:

Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

Great! Buutttt…we also need to distinguish why there are two sets of Works of Mercy. Not to worry, BC#3 also has us covered:

Q. 812. How can we know spiritual from corporal works of mercy?
A. We can know spiritual from corporal works of mercy, for whatever we do for the soul is a spiritual work, and whatever we do for the body is a corporal work.

The Baltimore Catechism goes on to speak more specifically about the Spiritual Works of Mercy, the general definition of them, and how Christians can be aided in doing these works. Actually, it says a lot more about the Spiritual Works individually than it did about the Corporal, so be prepared to see more of our beloved BC over the next week.

Anyhoo…

Q. 813. Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?
A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.

And you guessed it…A LIST! Woohoo:

  1. To admonish the sinner
  2. To instruct the ignorant
  3. To counsel the doubtful
  4. To comfort the sorrowful
  5. To bear wrongs patiently
  6. To forgive all injuries
  7. To pray for the living and the dead

All righty, readers! We have our list. That means the next seven days we will take them one at a time and roll right along with our Baltimore Catechism, Bishop Morrow, and my ever-noxious, but hopefully helpful, examples.

Omnes sancti Patriarchae et Prophetae, orate pro nobis!

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