Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fourth Thursday of Advent

Christmas Means Charity -- Heaven's First Law

ove is the greatest power in the world.  It is stronger than death.  It depends not upon coercion or force but upon inspiration.  Love, which is charity, is the first law of God.  All other laws are rooted in it.  Love depends not upon any power in the world.  It has its roots and inspiration in God.  Only the almighty power of God is capable of inspiring divine love from which all human love flows -- and without divine inspiration love cannot endure.

Like the every flower that the lover bestows upon his loved one -- the rose, which bears many thorns -- so true love is often born out of sorrow.  Charity, then, which is love of God and of neighbor, shares joy and sorrow alike.

These considerations should prompt us to make an intention in all that we do for our neighbors.  That intention should be purified each day with prayer, and that should be a prayer that all things we do might be prompted by love of God.  No human motive, no matter how noble, can take the place of charity.  No philanthropic project, no matter how stupendous, if not properly rooted in God as well as man, can be compared to the widow's mite prompted by the inspiration divine.  In these days when so many drives are being carried out to alleviate the sufferings of peoples both here and abroad, it is well to rember prayerfully the words of the Apostle on charity, that it will avail nothing unless God is part of our plans.

If the Vicar of Christ had a thousand voices he could enunciate a thousand different heart-stirring appeals, he could speak of the neediest cases, and stir thousands of hearts to pity and urge them to sacrifice.  Yet, all the thousand voices and all their neediest cases would have but one motivation and one inspiration, namely, God.  For all that we do for our neighbor, we do out of the motive of love of God.  This is charity!

Did you ever playfully, but never with more serious intent, as a little child the question:  "How much do you love me?"  Then did you think long and meditatively on the child's answer?  Do you remember that there were no words spoken?  There was only an eloquent gesture.  Little arms were outstretched all the way as far as they could. The child was showing that its love was boundless.  Now, perhaps, if one could phrase the same question to Jesus as one knelt before the crib at Christmas or the crucifix on Good Friday, "How much, O Lord, do You love me?"  he would obtain the same answer.  The answer would be identical to the little child's response -- no words spoken, but an eloquent gesture of arms outstretched all the way in token of His boundless love.

If we are attuned to the charity of the Sacred heart from whence all love that is lasting must flow, then we will practice the perfect way of life and live according to the first law of love.


Bless, O Lord, all our hearts today and move them to pity.  Let this pity be for themselves, lest one day they appear before You naked of the riches of charity.  Being moved to compunction for our sins we shall then love you more and show this love to men.