Charity – Seventeenth 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
Jesus Christ so loved our neighbor as to give His life for him. Our Saviour rejoices when we sacrifice ourselves to do him good. Everything we do for our neighbor to please God, to show our love for Him, is most agreeable to Him. Oh, if we understood well of what importance is the virtue of charity to our neighbor, with what zeal would we not perform acts of this virtue — St. Teresa.
St. Magdalene of Pazzi was accustomed to say that she considered as lost the day in which she did not exercise some charity for her neighbor.
St. Vincent de Paul lived but for this. He never lost an opportunity for practicing this virtue.
A young woman, who had always led an innocent life, resolved to show her love for Jesus Christ by doing something for the poor. She was not rich, consequently could not give much alms. She therefore volunteered to mend their clothes, and for many years this was her occupation. Being one day alone on a road, she met a poor person whom she had never before seen. “Miss,” he said, “I have some news to tell you; bless the Lord, for you will die in six days.” These words, far from troubling her or making her sad, gave her delight. She hastened home to tell what she had heard, but they persuaded her to pay no attention to it. “I lose nothing,” she said, “in preparing for death, besides I think it is a warning from on high, and I bless God.” She made all her preparations, certain that it was Jesus Christ who had spoken in this poor person. After six days had passed, she died in sentiments of great piety, rejoicing that she had loved the poor.
My God, give me a great love for the poor, a love that will make me see Jesus Christ in them, and inspire me to do all in my power for them.