Sunday, January 17, 2010

Charity and Love

Hi Folks

Those who have not yet gone to Mass please say a prayer for me?  I missed Mass today as I am sick.  Yuck.

I did a little research recently and confirmed that the words "charity" and "love" come from the same Latin root word "caritas".

I clarify that word 'love' in this case would also be translated in Greek 'agape' to distinguish it from filial love or erotic love.

Agape love, caritas, is the sort of love that is unconditional.  It's a general sort of love that can be directed to people you don't know.  Caritas fuels charity.

I remember from my youth, an episode of "The Waltons" on the TV where Ma Walton (I'm pretty sure it was her) said that they wouldn't  accept charity.  Times were hard, and they were hurting.  There were people who wanted to help.

I've been thinking of this and wondering if refusing charity is also refusing love? 

Pope Benedict's book "Deus Caritas Est " means "God is Love".  That is certainly not an unknown phrase.

Why would one refuse charity, if one was truly in need?  Is it pride?   By refusing appropriate charity, one is refusing someone the opportunity to show love...the spirit of charity.

God is Love...Caritas.  This phrase has been abused to the point of being meaningless.  So often it seems to be the license to be politically correct.  We refuse to call sin what it is (sin) for fear of offending someone.

How loving is it, really, to see one who may well be on the road to Hell, but not to counsel them of the risk they're taking? 

But we're not to judge, right?  Yep.  Right.  We are not to judge.  We are not to tell someone they ARE going to Hell.  It is absolutely not our place, but God's place to judge.

Confirmed Catholics, are commanded to admonish the sinner!  That one seems to get forgotten.  We are SUPPOSED to call sin, sin.  Are we perfect?  Not likely, but no one ever made that a requirement for performing the Works of Mercy!

As we admonish, we must be very aware that people who love us will admonish us from time to time, as well.

That is a charitable act of a loving person!


Anonymous Catholic Housewife said...

For what it's worth, I think refusing charity is pride. And pride, of course, is refusing love. Because pride was the first sin of our first parents and they were refusing God, who is Love.

Make sense, or just in my own head?

Am hooked, but must return to read more later.


JP said...

Hi Andrea

This may sound silly but in the list of sins, pride is rather like carbon is to our daily lives.

It's in everything.

What you say makes perfect sense to me too.

Welcome to my blog. I hope to spend some time at yours, too, but it may be a while! Life is nuts here right now.