Of all the virtues, Charity is, they say, the most precious. But what is charity? From the dictionary, we learn that is means giving to the needy, but that is a modern definition of the word. In fact, when charity refers to a virtue, it means something very different. The word come from the Latin “Caritas”: the altruistic love.
The phrase Deus caritas est from 1 John 4:8—or Θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν (Theos agapē estin) in the original Greek is translated in the King James Version as: “God is love“, and in the Douay-Rheims bible as: “God is charity“. Charity, then, refers to love of God, a love that comes from God and is reflected by man (made in God’s image), back to God. God gives man the power to act as God by his own human actions towards others.
Charity is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God.
This holiday season, we are told to give generously. And many do. But more importantly, I think we must learn to give our time, give some of our comfort, and give some of our smiles and good will towards our fellow men (and women – let’s just say language is sexist and accept that when I said men back there I meant humans.) Yes, let’s not get impatient with others. Let’s not honk our horns, swear, scowl, or shower scorn upon others. Let us, this holiday season, strive for the true meaning of charity. Let us forgive others their sins, and try to love them as we love ourselves. Let us look at the most needy and recognize them for what they are – they are ourselves, but for the Grace of God. We could very well find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence one day.
And speaking of the fence, while I’m writing this, a good friend and fellow writer is in the hospital. I am hoping he pulls through, because he’s dear to me, even though his last rant on Facebook (work of the Devil – Facebook – all your sins right out there for all to see…) was about how he wanted to build the wall and how he respected Trump. But see – the fact that I wrote “Even Though” means that I have a lot of work to do on myself to be charitable. If I were truly charitable, I’d delete that. But I’m still praying he pulls through.