The virtue of the month for September in Challenge & Conquest is charity. When you think of people who were amazing examples of charity – Mother Teresa definitely makes the top ten list. She explained once what this virtue of charity is all about,
“Love in action is service. Become friends to those who have no friends. Become family to those who have no family. Become community to those who have no community.”
Charity is just that simple – love people as God would love them. So why is it such a hard virtue to put into practice? Probably because it means we have to forget about ourselves and put the other person first. We have to change our priorities. That may mean to glance up from our phone or tablet to look around at the needs of others. It may mean to stop what we are doing and change our plans to help someone in need. Charity may be as easy as just listening to someone who is lonely.
There is a trick to living charity if it does not come naturally to you. Plug into the Holy Spirit! Many people wonder what kind of relationship we can have with the Holy Spirit every day. He is the Spirit of Love, the Great Consoler. He can inspire us and point out things we may miss to help us live the virtue of charity. Be honest with God –let him know that sometimes you get caught up in what you have to do and you forget the needs of others. Ask him for his help. Say this little prayer whenever you can and your charity will grow. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.” You can even make it more personal and say “Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart and enkindle in me the fire of your love for other people.”
The YOUCAT # of the month for Challenge and Conquest speaks about how every human being was created out of love and created to love on another. #2: Why did God create us? God created us out of free and unselfish love….Out of the “surplus” of his love he created us. He wanted to share his endless joy with us, who are creatures of his love.
Pope Francis is coming in almost 2 weeks to the US and he is a wonderful example of charity. When he talks about following Jesus’ command to love one another, he is very clear,
“Charity cannot be neutral, indifferent, or impartial! Charity takes risks! For true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous!. Charity is creative.”
Let’s answer his call to be creative with our charity this month and opening our eyes to the needs around us.