Living the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the Home. . . with Frankie

It's easy to sometimes feel like motherhood isn't compatible with true Christian works of mercy. After all, not many of us are able to manage the kind of charitable activities that our sisters called to single life or religious vocations might be able to do.

I have never once visited a prison. I've never brought the gospel to naked savages or pagan Irishmen. I've never handed out sandwiches to hobos from the back entrance to the house. My house doesn't even HAVE a back entrance.

In my Exactly How to be a Good Catholic post, I indicated that those of us who, because of our station in life, weren't really able to perform these acts of mercy ourselves could support those who do financially and with our prayers. That's important. We should TOTALLY do that.

But also . . . I took a closer look at the list. And, I was like . . . hold the phone! I do that stuff in my home . . . as my job. I hardly do anything BUT that stuff. And I do it . . . with FRANKIE.

Let's take a look, shall we?

First the Corporal Works of Mercy . . .

Feed the Hungry

Yes. Yes, I do. All day long. Three meals, sometimes snacks, sometimes dessert. Sometimes neighbor kids want to eat too.

And sometimes, Frankie will say something like, "I want beans. But plain. No beans. A soft." And *I* have to figure out that he wants a tortilla.

Give Drink to the Thirsty

Kids also like to drink. At every meal. In between meals. In all cars at all times. At EVERY drinking fountain we happen to pass. But I draw the line at while napping or sleeping. I just can't. So I don't.

Clothe the Naked

I get my kids dressed in the morning. But you wouldn't always know it to look at them. We even have a specific rule meant to address this issue: DON'T TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF WITHOUT A PLAN. It's a good rule. But it has its limitations, and most often those limitations are manifest when we have a repair guy over.

Shelter the Homeless

We let him live here. Rent free. Even though he makes this face. A lot.

Visit the Sick

I visit Frankie when he's sick. But he's not usually interested in a lot of interaction. Mostly I'm useful to him as a means to refill his juice and start up Mater's Tall Tales on Netflix again.

Visit the Imprisoned

Even though Frankie's imprisonments are most often my doing, I do visit him. I check to see if he's STILL wailing over getting the green cup instead of the blue cup, or if he's ready to rejoin the family. I also come to his rescue when he's imprisoned himself up on the top bunk. Again.

Bury the Dead

Most of our burying of the dead is backyard chicken-related. But also, we bring our kids to funerals, and it turns out they're cool with that sort of thing.

Next the Spiritual Works of Mercy . . .

Admonish the Sinner

Woo, boy. Do I ever do this one. I'm admonishing all OVER the place. Even at DISNEYLAND. Kick your little sister with your pointy cowboy boot? Boom. Admonished. No ice cream-type admonished. I am MEAN MERCIFUL.

Instruct the Ignorant

Also yes. For instance: Frankie believed this to be a drawing of "a super happy baby who is smiling." I was able to use this opportunity for a little discussion about what SMILING is.

Counsel the Doubtful

Frankie is doubtful about many things. Taking naps and trying new foods are high on the list of things about which he has doubts. Here for instance, he is entertaining doubts about the edibility of Indian food. But I COUNSELthreatened him into trying it. And he liked it just fine.

Comfort the Sorrowful

Frankie is also sorrowful about many things. Having to eat off of the "You are special today" plate on his special day, for instance, will sometimes make him VERY sorrowful. But with some careful COMFORTthreatening he can always be brought back around.

Bear Wrongs Patiently

Oh, Frankie. The things you've said to me.
  • Sitting in church: I want to touch you, I just don't want you to touch me.
  • After I got a manicure: Why do your fingers look like an old lady?
  • Tucking him in at bedtime: You can just give me my Lotso and go out of here.
  • Whenever he's doing anything: I don't need you to talk to me.
  • At all other times: Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. (repeat)
And imma BEAR it. For you, Frankie. Because I love you. And you mostly don't mean it.

Forgive All Injuries

I do. I forgive them all. And honestly, it's not even as hard as I would have thought. Because I love you. And you don't ALWAYS smile, so when you do . . . it all feels worth it.

Pray for the Living and the Dead

Our home is far from perfect. But it IS a place of prayer. And few things are cuter than the things kids come up with to pray about. Some are sweet, "That I would be a good boy and not dwive everyone cwazy." Some are hard, "That mommy would feel better soon and so she doesn't have to shout so much." But both are good prayers. I could use both.

Speaking of . . . After the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy came up in this post, and again in this one, reader Rebecca asked if I would make a printable featuring them.

So I did. Hope you like 'em.

As with all my printables, you are welcome to save the images to your computer for your own personal use. You may print the images and / or upload them and have prints made for your personal use or to give as gifts. (These are sized for 8x10) First click on the image to bring it up in a new window, then right click on the image to save it to your computer. You may use my images on your blog, just please link back to my blog. If you would like to sell my images, please contact me first. To request a custom printable, visit my Etsy shop here.

For LOTS MORE free printable prayers, check out my Pinterest board.

These images are available for purchase in my Etsy shop, in a higher resolution, without the watermark, in multiple sizes from 5x7 to 16x20, and also as print-at-home two-sided holy cards. You'll find them here. Thanks!

You might also enjoy:

What Cranky Frankie Taught Me About God

Cranky Frankie Went to the Fair