Catholic Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Work of Mercy


If you’re like me, when you hear the topic of Mark Shea’s book The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ, you might wonder how it can be (a) enticing, (b) non-preachy, and maybe even (c) interesting.

The topic, you ask? The corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

My first thought, I’ll admit, was that it can all be summed up in a poster. Who needs a whole book?

But then I realized something: I don’t really know much about the works of mercy. Do I know the ways to apply them? Am I able to identify them in my life (not counting the ever-present “feeding the hungry” that goes on around here)? Can I share them with my children, my students, my friends, in a way that’s engaging and real-life?

The answer before I read this book was a firm No, in some shape or another. The answer after, I hope, is closer to a Yes. The book has given me an interest and curiosity and desire for the works of mercy and an appreciation for how very integrated they should be in the Christian life.

If you see this book and think “boring” in any way, shape, or form, let me just set things straight: you are WRONG. Shea does what he does so well: he engages the reader, makes the topic into something you never thought about, and gives you ways to apply it to your faith in tangible ways.

It’s not a long book, but it’s deep in content and you’ll find that it plants seeds of thought that you’ll find flowering later. As you read it, you’ll find it steeped in Church tradition and Scripture scholarship, in humorous anecdote and ongoing wisdom, in practical application and challenging calls to action.

Highly recommended and worth every minute you spend reading it.

Want to win a copy of The Work of Mercy?

Enter your name in the comments by Friday, May 25 at Midnight PST. One entry per person, please.

Thanks to Franciscan Media for generously donating three copies for this giveaway!

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. Actually, I’m with you completely–at first glance, I thought “A whole book?” but the more I consider it, I know I need to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  2. Ted Seeber on

    I and my wife need this book in different ways. My wife because her women’s group at church is falling into the “only the corporal works of mercy are worth practicing” trap that the LCWR fell into. And myself because I’m the Grand Knight of a brand-new Knights of Columbus Council (15485).

  3. Valerie Jacobs on

    I have been a fan of Mark’s since he published his first book, “This is My Body: A Protestant Evangelical Discovers the Real Presence.” Years later, this is still the one book I buy and distribute in hopes of sharing the Truth and Beauty of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist with non-Catholics. I happened to tune in to Sacred Heart Radio recently to catch the tail end of Mark as he was interviewed about his book and I knew immediately that I wanted to get it. (haven’t yet) In the couple of minutes I listened, he gave me a new insight which gave me peace about occassional struggle with doubt. There are three kinds, says he, of emotion, of intellect and of will. It is only doubt of will that is deadly. Thank you, Mark! I am looking forward to reading (meditating, and acting on) the rest! Valerie Jacobs

  4. Carol Lorance on

    How to apply into our every day life! Evengelizing 101!
    Tradition and Scripture are the basis of our faith and should be of our life. To be able to humorously apply these virtues in a split second of choices is our goal. Also the thought of a quick read is enticing as even voulunteers we have to make God and our faith our priority.

  5. Thanks Lisa.. One of these days I will win one of these great books you post. Thanks for another chance!

  6. As a doctor, I have always believed my calling has been to be the hands of Christ. More so though, I have pursued it to see the face of Christ in those I help, “the lease of my brothers”. The same in any volunteer work I have ever done since I was a child. So, I am excited to read this book to help form better my motivations and understanding of mercy and charity in my own life and I am sure it will enlighten many more.
    Congrats to Mark for writing this book.

  7. kellie schlosberg on

    I just stumbled across your website and I am so excited, as I will be starting a book club at my church and can’t wait to read some of these books…

  8. Cathy Carlin on

    Mark Shea is a great writer and I always enjoy his columns in the National Catholic Register. There is so much more to the works of mercy than most of us understand. I look forward to reading this book.

  9. Deacon Harry Morris on

    I’ve always enjoyed Mark’s writing.
    If I win a copy of this book, I will give it to someone I know who will be ordained to the Diaconate on June 2nd in Philly. As an icon of Christ the servant, this would be a great gift for a new deacon.

  10. Jocelyn Hiestand on

    I just recently discovered the Divine Mercy devotion. I would love to learn more about our God’s generous mercy.

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