Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit… CHARITY

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 6, 2012

There’s a lot of CHARITY to go around… Have some!

Last week I wrote about the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, this week I’m writing about the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and guess what?!  There are EXACTLY 12 DAYS before we begin the Novena (9 Days of Prayer) to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost!!!  I mean, how cool is that?!  I LOVE GOD’S TIMING! 🙂

12 FRUITS of the HOLY SPIRIT : CHARITY

(1) Charity – Cause us to perform our actions out of love for God

Compliments Wisdom and Piety

“The virtue which inclines us to love God above all things for His own sake, and our  neighbor for the sake of God. In the Old Testament the word charity occurs three times, the same Hebrew word being elsewhere translated LOVE (Prov. 10:12; Song. 2:4; 8:7).” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

CHARITY = LOVE (Agape = Love of God, not to be confused with Eros = love of man)…

“In the New Testament the word charity occurs with great frequency, usually as the translation of the Greek agape, the exact meaning of which, especially in the writings of Paul and John, has been the subject of a great deal of discussion. What is clear, however, and beyond dispute, is that charity (or love) is the most excellent of the virtues, the fulfillment of all the law, the sum of all the commandments, the bond of perfection (Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:9-10; 1 Cor. 13; Col. 3:14; 1 Tim. 1:5; etc.).”~Ibid, emphasis added

There is something else about Charity, it’s 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

Which means that…

“…To have charity is to TO LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS FOR HIMSELF [cf. 1Jn 4:10], and to be ready to renounce all created things rather than offend Him by serious sin. However, it is not necessary that we have more feeling in our love of God than in our love of men, since LOVE IS ESSENTIALLY A MATTER OF THE WILL, not of the feelings

It’s a CHOICE, people!  You either CHOSE to Love or you CHOSE to Hate, there is NO IN-BETWEEN…

The most famous Biblical passage on charity is 1 Cor. 13.” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

We are told emphatically…

Jesus makes charity the new commandment (cf. Jn 13:34).   By loving His own “to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1), He makes manifest the Father’s [LOVE] which He receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the [LOVE] of Jesus which they themselves receive.

Whence Jesus says: “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My [LOVE].” And again: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (cf. Jn 15: 9, 12).  ~CCC§1823, emphasis added

Therefore…

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [Charity], I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love [Charity], I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love [Charity], I gain nothing.” ~1Cor 13: 1-3, emphasis added

 “If I . . . have not charity,” says the Apostle, “I am nothing.” Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, “if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing.”~CCC§1826

Or as Shakespeare even borrowed to say,  “It is merely sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Thus we must remember this VERY IMPORTANT TRUTH about CHARITY= LOVE…

Love [Charity] is patient and kind; Love [Charity] is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.

Love [Charity] does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice  at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love [Charity] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~1Cor 13: 4-7, emphasis added

So faith, hope, LOVE [Charity] abide, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE [Charity].  ~1 Cor 13:13, emphasis added

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY…

On the subject of the PRACTICE of CHARITY, Christ tells us that…

“‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink?

And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee?

And when did we see Thee sick or in prison, and visit Thee?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, My brethren, you did it to Me.’” ~Mt 25: 37b-40, emphasis added

Because…

Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and His Christ: “Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My [LOVE]” (cf. Jn 15:9-10; cf. Mt 22:40; Rom 13:8-10).
~ CCC§1824,
emphasis added

Christ died out of love for us, while we were still “enemies.” The Lord asks us to love as He does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ Himself. ~CCC§1825

On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. ~1Cor 4:9 (NAB), emphasis added.

TO CONCLUDE…

For charity delivers from death and keeps you from entering the darkness; and for all who practice it charity is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High. ~Tobit 4: 10-11, emphasis added,

Sound familiar?… ps You can LOVE your enemy and not LIKE them… Love is NOT like… so no excuses… 

IT’S A CHOICE NOT A FEELING!

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