The Spiritual Works of Mercy and Motherhood #OTEM

This post is part of our Ordinary Time, Extraordinary Mercy series, in which contributors will share their own experiences of living the Year of Mercy. Beginning at Pentecost and continuing through the summer, we’ll cover many aspects of the Works of Mercy in family life.

Ordinary Time Extraordinary Mercy

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are a blessing for us mothers because they help us focus on what matters most – the person behind the deeds that we perform for others. These works are what allow us to see our families, friends and strangers with a new and selfless perspective, especially in a society that is driven by using others as a means to an end. When we practice these works, we are better able to connect with the people in our lives and recognize the value not only in thinking of others, but also in being present for and helping them spiritually.

A spiritual work can be as simple as being considerate of another’s needs or it may mean going out of our way to comfort the sorrowful, counsel the doubtful, forgive injuries, instruct the ignorant, admonish a sinner, bear a wrong patiently or pray for the living and dead. Check out our checklist for busy moms for ideas on how to implement these works into your daily life.

Copyright 2016 Divine Mercy for Moms. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 Divine Mercy for Moms. All rights reserved.

Either way, all aspects of our lives will improve if we allow ourselves to take part in the spiritual nourishment of others by practicing these works of mercy. Carrying them out serves to enhance our abilities in all roles including wife, mom, daughter, friend and even employee. Our family dynamics will also improve if we make a point to teach these lessons to our children. They need to learn how to care for others’ spiritual needs just as much as their physical needs.

When we choose not to practice these Spiritual Works of Mercy, we are missing out on the task Christ is asking of us in that moment. This caring requires deliberate attention to the task at hand. For example, you can’t pray for the living and the dead and play Candy Crush, or comfort the sorrowful while checking your email, or text about baseball practice while forgiving your spouse’s offenses.

These works require that you are “all in” when they are performed, fully present with both your attitude and attention. (Hint, put down your phone to perform these works in person). Check out our How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy cards and infographic to learn how to pray this powerful prayer.

So the next time the toddler comes in crying from the backyard, a friend shares the news that she lost her mother to a sudden death, or a neighbor reveals they lost their job, it is your moment to act and provide consolation. As mothers, our job is to be in the “ready position” to practice these works of mercy when God needs us to!

Over time, your radar will improve as you begin to slow down enough in life to smile at a stranger and brighten their day, help an elderly woman with her groceries, and pray for others, whether living or dead. Imagine if we lived in a society that valued these spiritual works and practiced them regularly. Imagine if we made these works our daily goals to accomplish. The fact is, they should be. In Matthew 25, Christ challenges us to practice them and tells us that they are what we will be judged by at the end of our lives.

When we choose to practice these spiritual works, we allow God to use us as instruments of peace, love and even joy for those around us. We might be able to help someone turn a crisis into a blessing or an injury into a moment of sanctification. Our worst moments or those of others can be opportunities for grace and mercy! Nothing is more valuable then living out the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in our own homes and beyond!

For more help on living out these works of mercy be sure to visit our website

Ordinary Time Extraordinary Mercy

Read the other articles in our “Ordinary Time, Extraordinary Mercy” series.

Copyright 2016 Emily Jaminet


About Author

Emily Jaminet and her husband have 7 children. Jaminet is the Director of Sacred Heart Enthronement Network, shares "A Mother's Moment," a daily radio reflection, She is the co-author of Divine Mercy For Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina and The Friendship Project . You can read more of Emily’s work at,Divine Mercy for Moms, and The Friendship Project Book.


  1. Beautiful article. I liked the way you listed practical ways of practicing the spiritual works of mercy – helping the elderly with groceries etc. The opportunities are there for us every day but I know I often miss them.

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