Charity – Fifth Day of November
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
When the love of God takes possession of a soul, it produces an insatiable desire to work for Him Whom it loves. No matter what it does for God, nor how much time it gives to His service, it seems as nothing, and it only laments that it can do so little for Him. Love teaches what God deserves. By the light of this flame the soul sees all the defects, all the imperfections of its works; penetrated with confusion, it feels how unworthy of so great a God it is to work so imperfectly. In this light it cannot overestimate itself, nor find fault with others. — St. John Chrysostom.
St. Vincent de Paul, who never ceased to do great things for God that he might please Him, always looked upon himself not only as useless and idle, but as a wicked servant. Sometimes when he recollected those words of the Apostle, though they certainly did not apply to him, “Let him who does not work, not eat” he deprived himself of his meal at midday, going until night without nourishment.
St. Charles Borromeo had a great desire to see God honored, and seized every opportunity to procure for Him true adorers. To succeed in this to what laborious undertakings did he not give himself! A change from one hard labor to another was his only relaxation; nevertheless, he spoke as if he did nothing, that he deserved, like the idle steward, to be condemned to eternal darkness.
O my God, what an indignity not always to labor for Thee, and in the most perfect manner! Alas! In all my works there are faults; have pity on this useless servant, who will commence now to serve Thee.