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Catholic Dictionary

Term

SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY

Definition

The traditional seven forms of Christian charity in favor of the soul or spirit of one's neighbor, in contrast with the corporal works of mercy that minister to people's bodily needs. They are: converting the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead. Their bases are the teaching of Christ and the practice of the Church since apostolic times.