Rediscover the original meaning of this word
February 15th 2017
In its original meaning, the word ‘charity’, which like faith and hope, is a theological virtue (that is to say which has God as a purpose), refers to the love of human beings for God, which of necessity calls for neighbourly love. Unfortunately, this word ‘charity’ has lost its sublime significance over time, and what we now call ‘charity’ is expressed in actions which may not be accompanied by any feelings of true love. Many people ‘do charitable works’ because their church and family have taught them that they must give to the poor, help the unfortunate, and so on. Charity is thus often the product of a narrow education, and has nothing to do with goodness. How many ‘charitable’ people poison the lives of their family and friends! There are many of these charitable people, but we meet very few who are truly good. Christians must make the effort to rediscover the original meaning of the word ‘charity’, which means ‘love’, for those who claim to love God must also love him through their neighbours.