Christ’s self-giving act of charity (love) – His Passion, death and Resurrection, “is the source in us of all our merits before God” 1. The grace that we receive from Jesus unites us to Him. We aim to live Christ-like lives. Therefore, true acts of charitable love, performed in the name of Jesus, affect the doer’s intentions to love as Jesus loved. Take for example a person who donates money to a homeless shelter, yet the intention is self-serving: to obtain a tax deduction. If that person was truly united to Christ, with the virtue of Charity graced upon that person, then that same person’s primary rationale for donating money to the homeless shelter would be so that others may have a place to rest and food to eat. The source of self-giving love stems from answering the call of Christ to feed the hungry and the goal of charitable love is to help those less fortunate.
Christ calls us to keep the appropriate perspective on why we perform acts of Charity. For when we keep the appropriate perspective on our charitable acts of love, Charity can transform our other virtuous acts into real ways of loving God, as well as our fellow man. When we have the right intentions for performing acts of charitable love, Charity “governs, shapes, and perfects all means of sanctification” 2.
How might you be able to embrace the virtue of Charity in the future through the performance of self-giving love for others? Note some ideas in the comments section below, and let’s get going on practicing this virtue with others.
Why should we embrace Charity? We’ll address that question in the next reflection on the virtue of Charity. Don’t miss it!
1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd. Ed. paragraph 2011, Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997. Print.
2 Ibid. paragraph 826