Practicing Charity

St Elizabeth of Hungary Distributes Alms by Giambattista Pittoni

Padre Quadrupani discusses practical ways to put the virtue of charity into practice:

“Assist your brethren in their needs whenever you can. However, you should always be careful to consult the laws of prudence in this matter and to be guided by your means and position. Supply by a desire to do good for the material aid you are unable to give.”

Christ Before Annas by Duccio di Buoninsegna

“When your neighbor offends you he does not cease on that account to be the creature and the image of God; therefore the Christian motive you have for loving him still exists. He is not, perhaps, worthy of pardon, but has not our Saviour Jesus Christ, who so often has forgiven you much more grievous offences, merited it for him?”

“Although it is forbidden us to show hatred or to entertain it voluntarily against the wicked and those who have offended us, this is not meant to prevent us from defending ourselves or taking such precautions against them as prudence suggests. Christian charity obliges and disposes us to love our enemies and to be good to them when there is occasion to do so; but it should not carry us so far as to protect the wicked, nor leave us without defence against their aggressiveness. It allows us to be vigilant in guarding against their encroachments, and to take precautions against their machinations.”

“Always be ready and willing to excuse the faults of your neighbor, and never put an unfavorable interpretation upon his actions. The same action, says Saint Francis de Sales, may be looked upon under many different aspects: a charitable person will ever suppose the best, an uncharitable one will just as certainly choose the worst.”

Quotations from Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani, Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts and Allay Their Fears (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1898).

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