Charity may be a very short word, but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums, up man’s entire relation to God and to his neighbor. – St. Aelred of Rievaulx
Charity… What is Charity? We hear a lot about this word, we hear that charity will help us get in to heaven, charity will make us happy and charity will solve all our problems.
Charity, the do-all-fix-all word, but really what is charity? Sure donating to the Salvation Army is charity, giving money to the poor on the street is also charity, in fact Americans are know for there charity, we donate more money then any other nation on earth, charities seem to do even better when economic times are hard. But is that all there is to charity, dropping a few coins in the red kettle, tossing a few coins in the fountain, is that where charity starts and stops?
Charity, to me, seems to be the core, the center of humanity, to faith and to life. We are a people born of charity, and a people who strive for charity. But we fail, and we struggle, and charity, for the most part, is not achieved.
How can I say this, if, as I stated above, we give more than any other country in the world. Because, in my view, we fail to see what true charity is. Charity is not money, charity is not something we need to do, to graduate or make our Confirmation. Charity is not something we can be forced into, rather charity is something done from the core, the center of humanity, the soul of being. Charity is something we teach, and something we learn, not by requirements of doing acts of charity, but rather by watching and performing everyday simple acts. Charity is talking to a co-worker, even when you don’t want to; charity is feeling compassion for your enemy; charity is living life in the eyes of God.
We are all called to acts of charity; we are called to live a life of love and understanding to offer our brothers and sister’s charity, charity of heart, mind and soul. Charity is an act of love and compassion and an act of Christianity.
To live a life of charity is to live a life of faith, a life of respect for our fellow humans.
So I challenge you to discover new ways to allow your charity to effect this world, starting at home, starting with yourself. Stretch your understanding, leap in to the deep waters of compassion. Learn to walk where most do not, and extend your hand to your brothers and sisters and lead them in to the clarity charity, the clarity of knowing God through your acts, your love and your compassion.