Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy: How God’s Love Transforms Your Heart (Holy Heroes) is a thorough, warmly illustrated introduction to the works of mercy for children ages 5-10.
Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy: How God’s Love Transforms Your Heart is a great little book ideally suited to closing out the Year of Mercy. It features bright and warm illustrations of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, with each spread showing a child doing one of the works of mercy on the left and, on the right, Jesus doing the same work of mercy in an episode from the Gospel. You can’t do better than that for teaching kids that doing the works of mercy is essential to following Christ.
The book opens with a Q & A about mercy, what it is, and why it is important; and closes with sections on mercy in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, and then in the Mass and Eucharist. It ends with a simple guide to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
We presented this book to our seven-year-old and ten-year-old (who is significantly developmentally delayed), and they really enjoyed it. They loved brainstorming what they could do (which work of mercy could you do today?), and really enjoyed making the connections between Jesus doing the works of mercy and kids doing the works of mercy. Our seven-year-old, who has not received the sacrament of Reconciliation or his First Communion yet, was disappointed that he couldn’t after reading those sections—and that’s the reaction you want!
The book is paired with the Works of Mercy Game, a deck of cards that is essentially a matching game that helps kids identify the works of mercy through pictures and words. It’s a clever add-on that underlines the point of the book and makes catechesis fun.