Many people think of philanthropy when they hear the word ‘charity’. However, the supernatural virtue of charity is much different.
An example of a life lived in ardent charity, or in a high degree of the virtue, is Mother Theresa’s. Everything she did, she did out of love for Jesus, and she even reached this in a heroic degree.
To live a life a charity, dear Princess of God, it is not necessary to be Mother Theresa, but to do as she said, to give of oneself to others around you for love of Jesus, and to give without holding back.
It is not enough for us to say, “I love God.” But I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.
It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in his image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must “put on Christ,” as Scripture tells us. And so we have been created to love as he loves us. Jesus makes himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and he says, “You did it to me.” On the last day he will say to those on his right, “whatever you did to the least of these, you did to me,” and he will also say to those on his left, “whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for me.”
When he was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, “I thirst.” Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst for everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.
Sanctity is described as the difference between giving what you have to give, and then giving just that little bit more or extra.
Dear Princess of God, have the courage today to commit your life to giving Jesus all you have, plus a little bit more. Be generous with Him, because He has given you all that you have and because it will delight His Heart (: