The Virtue of Charity
CHRIST tells you:
MY CHILD, at your baptism I placed the virtue of charity in your soul, expecting you to develop it after you had reached the age of reason. This is the virtue which causes you to love Me above all things for My own sake. It also enables you to love others for My sake.
2. This virtue is your highest perfection. There is no greater achievement in human life than to love Me, the Supreme Good. No natural love can compare with the supernatural love of charity. Charity loves what is best, and it loves for the highest reason. The man of charity loves Me above all else because I am the Highest Good.
3. Charity makes a man more God-like. You read in Scripture that “God is Love.” By charity you become like Me, loving all that is right and good.
4. Charity is the perfection of all other love. It reaches out to My perfect goodness and places Me first among its preferences. Even in his love for created things, the man of charity seeks them because they help him come closer to Me in daily life. He no longer accepts any person or thing according to his likes and dislikes, but according to their goodness; that is, according to their ability to draw his thoughts and desires more firmly toward Me. He prefers those persons and things which help him please Me most.
5. Develop this holy virtue in your daily life. Do it firstly by keeping My commandments, secondly by honoring Me frequently in private prayers and acts of public worship, thirdly by dealing unselfishly with people for My sake.
6. True, you have to protect yourself against the selfishness and bad will of people on earth, but in so doing beware of being bitter, inconsiderate, or unjust toward them. For My sake wish everyone well, and as far as you are able, help those in need. In this way you will prove that you possess genuine charity in your soul.
At baptism charity was planted as a seed in my soul. As I reached the age of reason and learned of God’s holy gift, I was expected to develop it by a continual effort to use it. My efforts plus God’s further graces make the seed of charity grow within me. How have I used this precious gift? Without charity all other virtues lose their supernatural value. This means that I cannot gain Heaven until I have learned to practice charity in my daily life. As I advance in this virtue I become more like God, thinking and acting more and more like Him. I must begin today living as Jesus would live this life of mine. In spite of many failures, I must go on trying.
My God, You desire to make me eternally great. You want me to reflect Your perfection in my daily thoughts, words, and actions. May I begin at long last to be a reflection of Your love in everything I think, say and do. I desire to be patient, kind, thoughtful, helpful, and long suffering, just as You have been with me, a sinner. In spite of my selfish nature, I want to love You as You deserve. In all things let me never forget Your wisdom and goodness, so that I may always consider and follow what pleases You. My model in all this is Jesus, Your divine Son. He is the model of perfect charity. Let me strive each day to become more like Him and less like myself. Amen.