We are back again on the Theological virtue of faith, Hope, and Charity (Love). These Theological virtues are directly connected to God. They are not gain by human efforts but are given to us through sanctifying grace we received during our baptism. These theological virtues, “they are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life” (CCC, # 1813). Today, I would like us to reflect on the theological virtue of charity, a virtue that invites us to examine ourselves on how we relate and our desire to will the good for another person. The theological virtue of Charity is the greatest of all other virtues, it is the one that unites all the other three virtues. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines: “Charity is a theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (CCC, 1822). It is love that moves us to wish good for others and to do good for others. This love is entrusted to the Apostles and us by Jesus Christ, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love” (John 15:9); and ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Therefore, Theological virtue of Charity is the key virtue to love God and our neighbor.
Pope Benedict XVI, reminds us in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, “Charity is love received and given, it is grace, its source is the wellspring of Fathers love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit, love comes down to us from the Son” This is expressed in countless ways as St. Paul testifies, love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick- tempered, it does not brood over injury, does not reject over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1Cor 13:4-7). Love is the main point upon which the entire Christian life turns to. To possess the virtue of charity is to possess God; without it, one has nothing and is nothing. Charity is the greatest form of all the virtues.
Prayer of St. Francis of Assis before the Crucifix at San Damiano
Most High Gracious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart
And give me true Faith, Certain Hope, and a perfect Charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord. That I may carry out your Holy and True Command.