Virtue of Charity

Started by TerrorDæmonum, July 27, 2022, 06:10:07 PM

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Quote from: Matthew 22:35-40
And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.

Quote from: Exodus 20:2-6
I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Quote from: John 14:15-21
If you love me, keep my commandments And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 13:13
And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

Quote from: Catechism of Pius X
Theological Virtues

1 Q. What is a supernatural virtue?
A. A supernatural virtue is a quality infused by God into the soul by which the latter acquires inclination, facility, and promptness to know good and do it towards eternal life.

3 Q. What are the theological virtues?
A. The theological virtues are: Faith, Hope and Charity.

4 Q. Why are Faith, Hope and Charity called theological virtues?
A. Faith, Hope and Charity are called theological virtues, because they have God as their immediate and principal object, and are infused by Him.

On Charity

42 Q. What is Charity?
A. Charity is a supernatural virtue, infused into our soul by God, by which we love God above all for His own sake, and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God.

43 Q. Why should we love God?
A. We should love God because He is the Supreme Good, infinitely good and perfect; and also, because He commands us to do so, and because of the many benefits we receive from Him.

44 Q. How are we to love God?
A. We are to love God above all things else, with our whole heart, with our whole mind, with our whole soul, and with all our strength.

45 Q. What is meant by loving God above all other things?
A. To love God above all other things means to prefer Him to all creatures, even the dearest and most perfect, and to be willing to lose everything rather than offend Him or cease to love Him.

46 Q. What is meant by loving God with our whole heart?
A. To love God with our whole heart means consecrating all our affections to Him.

47 Q. What is meant by loving God with our whole mind?
A. To love God with our whole mind means directing all our thoughts to Him.

48 Q. What is meant by loving God with our whole soul?
A. To love God with our whole soul means consecrating to Him the use of all the powers of our soul.

49 Q. What is meant by loving God with all our strength?
A. To love God with all our strength means striving to grow ever more and more in His love, and so to act that all our actions should have as their one motive and end the love of Him and the desire of pleasing Him.

50 Q. Why should we love our neighbour?
A. We should love our neighbour for the love of God, because God commands it, and because every man is made to God's image.

51 Q. Are we obliged to love even our enemies?
A. We are obliged to love even our enemies, because they are our neighbours also and because Jesus Christ has made this love the object of an express command.

52 Q. What is meant by loving our neighbour as ourselves?
A. To love our neighbour as ourselves means to wish him and do him, as far as possible, the good which we ought to wish for ourselves, and not to wish or to do him any evil.

53 Q. When do we love ourselves as we ought?
A. We love ourselves as we ought when we endeavour to serve God and to place all our happiness in Him.

54 Q. How is charity lost?
A. Charity is lost by each and every mortal sin.

55 Q. How is charity regained?
A. Charity is regained by making acts of the love of God, by duly repenting and making a good confession.

Quote from: Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 23
Article 3. Whether charity is a virtue?

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. xi): "Charity is a virtue which, when our affections are perfectly ordered, unites us to God, for by it we love Him."

I answer that, Human acts are good according as they are regulated by their due rule and measure. Wherefore human virtue which is the principle of all man's good acts consists in following the rule of human acts, which is twofold, as stated above (II-II:17:1), viz. human reason and God.

Consequently just as moral virtue is defined as being "in accord with right reason," as stated in Ethic. ii, 6, so too, the nature of virtue consists in attaining God, as also stated above with regard to faith, (II-II:4:5) and hope (II-II:17:1. Wherefore, it follows that charity is a virtue, for, since charity attains God, it unites us to God, as evidenced by the authority of Augustine quoted above.

Article 6. Whether charity is the most excellent of the virtues?

On the contrary
, It is written (1 Corinthians 13:13): "The greater of these is charity."

I answer that, Since good, in human acts, depends on their being regulated by the due rule, it must needs be that human virtue, which is a principle of good acts, consists in attaining the rule of human acts. Now the rule of human acts is twofold, as stated above (Article 3), namely, human reason and God: yet God is the first rule, whereby, even human reason must be regulated. Consequently the theological virtues, which consist in attaining this first rule, since their object is God, are more excellent than the moral, or the intellectual virtues, which consist in attaining human reason: and it follows that among the theological virtues themselves, the first place belongs to that which attains God most.

Now that which is of itself always ranks before that which is by another. But faith and hope attain God indeed in so far as we derive from Him the knowledge of truth or the acquisition of good, whereas charity attains God Himself that it may rest in Him, but not that something may accrue to us from Him. Hence charity is more excellent than faith or hope, and, consequently, than all the other virtues, just as prudence, which by itself attains reason, is more excellent than the other moral virtues, which attain reason in so far as it appoints the mean in human operations or passions.

Article 7. Whether any true virtue is possible without charity?

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Corinthians 13:3): "If I should distribute all my goods to the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." And yet true virtue is very profitable, according to Wisdom 8:7: "She teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life." Therefore no true virtue is possible without charity.

I answer that, Virtue is ordered to the good, as stated above (I-II:55:4). Now the good is chiefly an end, for things directed to the end are not said to be good except in relation to the end. Accordingly, just as the end is twofold, the last end, and the proximate end, so also, is good twofold, one, the ultimate and universal good, the other proximate and particular. The ultimate and principal good of man is the enjoyment of God, according to Psalm 72:28: "It is good for me to adhere to God," and to this good man is ordered by charity. Man's secondary and, as it were, particular good may be twofold: one is truly good, because, considered in itself, it can be directed to the principal good, which is the last end; while the other is good apparently and not truly, because it leads us away from the final good. Accordingly it is evident that simply true virtue is that which is directed to man's principal good; thus also the Philosopher says (Phys. vii, text. 17) that "virtue is the disposition of a perfect thing to that which is best": and in this way no true virtue is possible without charity.

If, however, we take virtue as being ordered to some particular end, then we speak of virtue being where there is no charity, in so far as it is directed to some particular good. But if this particular good is not a true, but an apparent good, it is not a true virtue that is ordered to such a good, but a counterfeit virtue. Even so, as Augustine says (Contra Julian. iv, 3), "the prudence of the miser, whereby he devises various roads to gain, is no true virtue; nor the miser's justice, whereby he scorns the property of another through fear of severe punishment; nor the miser's temperance, whereby he curbs his desire for expensive pleasures; nor the miser's fortitude, whereby as Horace, says, 'he braves the sea, he crosses mountains, he goes through fire, in order to avoid poverty'" (Epis. lib, 1; Ep. i, 45). If, on the other hand, this particular good be a true good, for instance the welfare of the state, or the like, it will indeed be a true virtue, imperfect, however, unless it be referred to the final and perfect good. Accordingly no strictly true virtue is possible without charity.


"If anyone is excommunicated it is not I, but the excommunicators." - Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
" A false church cannot have a true mission." - St. Francis De Sales