Works of mercy
The practice is commonly attributed to the Roman Catholic Church as an act of both penance and charity. In addition, the Methodist church teaches that the works of mercy are a means of grace which lead to holiness and aid in sanctification.
The works of mercy have been traditionally divided into two categories, each with seven elements:
- "Corporal works of mercy" which concern the material needs of others.
- "Spiritual works of mercy" which concern the spiritual needs of others.