FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Corporal works of mercy
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
[Image: 1920px-Werken_van_Barmhartigheid%2C_Mees...504%29.jpg]

To feed the hungry.
To give drink to the thirsty.
To clothe the naked.
To shelter the homeless
To visit the sick.
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead.
Love it. Thank you!

Great post, and great art.

The corporal and spiritual works are HOW we go about loving our neighbor, the second of the Two Great Commandments (see my sig line).

A few verses to go with:

I Corinthians 13:1-8

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.
It is not "to visit the imprisoned" but "to free the imprisoned". In the painting, you see the man on the left going for his purse, in order to buy someone's freedom. The man in black next to him is offering silver or gold artefacts, and a woman in black is offering a gold coin to the warden.

An interesting detail in the third picture ("to clothe the naked") are the disfigured faces. This work of art was created around 1504 by a Dutch painter. It was severely damaged in 1566 when protestants in the Netherlands ravaged catholic churches and destroyed religious art. From 1566 until 1853 (when the episcopal hierarchy was reestablished in the Netherlands), that is almost three centuries, catholics in the Netherlands were persecuted and discriminated. Our churches were taken away and desecrated by protestants, Mass had to be said in private (secret) places.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2447:

The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?