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Teaching the ignorant – Second Spiritual Work of Mercy

The Works of Mercy through the eyes of a biblical scholar

Let us explore the second spiritual Work of Mercy by taking up the analysis of biblical scholar Carlo Miglietta. During the days starting on Monday, 17 July 2023, we will discuss all the works with the friends present and try to find suitable instruments for their dissemination in the world.

The second Work of Spiritual Mercy is “teaching the ignorant”

II work of spiritual mercy (2)

The biblical scholar points out to us that he who performs this work is similar to:

  • God, who “teaches man knowledge” (Ps 93:10); “teaches the poor his ways” (Ps 24:9); “Worthy of faith are your teachings” (Ps 92:5); “I am wiser than all my teachers, because I meditate on your teachings … My inheritance for ever are your teachings, they are the joy of my heart … Righteous are your teachings for ever” (Ps 118:99. 111.144); “Many and profound teachings have been given to us in the Law, the Prophets, and other later Writings” (Sir 1.1).
  • Jesus, who “taught them as one having authority and not as their scribes” (Mt 7:29); “He taught in their synagogues” (Lk 4:15); “I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple” (Jn 18:20); “You have taught in our public squares” (Lk 13:2); “Thus speaks he who is…the Amen, the faithful and true Witness” (Rev 2:8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14).
  • The Apostles: “The apostles reported to Jesus all that they had done and taught” (Mk 6.30); “It is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Mt 10.20).
  • John the Baptist: “John taught his disciples” (Lk 11:1).
  • The Prophets. Moses: ‘Speak to the Israelites and report to them’ (Ex 31:13; Lev 1:2; 6:18; 7:23.29; 17:2; 18:2; 19:2; 23:; 24:15; 26:2…); David: ‘The Spirit of the Lord speaks in me, his word is on my tongue’ (2 Sam 23:2-3); Jeremiah (Jer 13:13. 15; 23.38; 34.2; 35.2…), Ezekiel (Eze 3.1.11; 11.5; 14.4; 17.2; 20.3…); Haggai (Hag 1.2; 2.2.21), Zechariah (Zech 1.3; 7.5; 11.4).

The biblical scholar also reminds us that those who teach the ignorant hear the Word of God

Below some excerpts:

  • “Speak, O elder, that which suits you, but discreetly and do not disturb the music” (Sir 32:3).
  • “If one loves righteousness…teach temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude, than which nothing is more useful to men in life” (Wis 8:7).
  • “You teach what is according to sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1).
  • “The grace of God…teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this world” (Titus 2:11-12).
  • “He who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation and comfort” (1 Cor 14:3-4).
  • “He who has a ministry, let him attend to the ministry; he who teaches, to the teaching” (Rom 12:7).
  • “Whosoever speaks, let him do so as with words of God” (1 Pet 4:11).
  • “Some God has placed in the Church…as teachers” (1 Cor 12:28; cf. Eph 4:11).

The biblical scholar leaves us at the conclusion of this work with a provocation, a question: do we know how to be “fishers of men” (Mk 1:7), identifying those who teach their brothers and sisters and proclaiming the beatitude of mercy that reads “Blessed are the merciful” (Mt 5:7)?

Knowledge is freedom

II work of spiritual mercy (3)

Knowing is a condition that enables us to be free and responsible people; in fact, when one wants to restrict the freedom of a person or a people, one tries to keep them from knowing the truth. At the same time, not understanding puts man in a state of particular suffering. The term ‘ignorant’, which textually means ‘he who does not know’, has a particularly negative meaning in the social context. Man’s ‘whys’ are an expression of deep anguish and loneliness. We therefore understand the importance of educators, teachers, catechists, parents. Each of them has an important contribution to make, with words that must, however, necessarily be accompanied by the example of their own lives.

Learn more about the HIC SUM project

 Manuale Spazio Spadoni

 Handbook Spazio Spadoni

 Manuel de Spazio Spadoni


Carlo Miglietta – Le Opere di Misericordia

 Carlo Miglietta – Works of Mercy

 Carlo Miglietta – Oeuvres de miséricorde

Read Also

Counselling the doubtful – First Spiritual Work of Mercy

Burying the Dead – Seventh Corporal Work of Mercy

Visiting Prisoners – Sixth Corporal Work of Mercy

Visiting the sick – Fifth Corporal Work of Mercy

Accommodation for pilgrims – Fourth Corporal Work of Mercy

Dressing the naked – Third Corporal Work of Mercy

Giving drink to the thirsty – Second Corporal Work of Mercy

Feeding the hungry – First Corporal Work of Mercy

The Works of Mercy from Brazil to Italy

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Giving Space to Creativity


Spazio Spadoni

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