The works of mercy provide us with the opportunity to let every person know he is a child of God and a brother in Christ. From the works of mercy will emerge a community of love and peace centered on Christ.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus will judge us on the basis of whether or not we fed him when he was hungry, gave him drink when he was thirsty, welcomed him when he was a stranger, clothed him when he was naked, and visited him when he was sick or in prison. What we have done for others, he will tell us, we have done for him.
The Catholic Church has traditionally called these six acts of kindness, along with a seventh, burying the dead, the "Corporal Works of Mercy." In this down-to-earth yet inspiring guide, Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., explains the Corporal Works of Mercy and illustrates multiple ways we can do them in our modern everyday life.
Father Apostoli also outlines the lesser-known but equally important "Spiritual Works of Mercy": counseling the doubtful, teaching the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, consoling the afflicted, forgiving offenses, bearing wrongs patiently, and praying for the living and the dead. And he offers many creative ways these too can be made part of our lives.
As a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Father Apostoli knows firsthand about the challenges and rewards of caring for those in physical or spiritual need. His order is dedicated to the Works of Mercy, and Father Apostoli brings to his subject a great wealth of spiritual and practical wisdom gained from personal experience.