I never truly understood the virtue of charity till reading St. Thomas Aquinas writings on virtues. The three special virtues are hope, faith and charity. As in the quote before this post, charity is above them all. Charity is a representation of God's love among ourselves. It is difficult to find a single quote to represent this. I have been trying for the past couple of hours. Basically, it is providing our love to our brothers and sisters specifically for love of God. It is an understanding of what God gave to us, and an appreciation of it. God loved us so much; he gave us free will to make our own mistakes. God loved us so much that he gave his Son for sacrifice. To me it seems the ultimate goal is to provide love to our fellow man as God has done for us; though as difficult as it may be.
Think of Luke 15:11-32, the story of the Prodigal Son. The father provided the share to his son as requested and even as he went off to live a life of sin, he welcomed him back with open arms. There was no punishment and no standards placed on the son when he returned; the father accepted his son with open arms. This is the love we are to provide to each other.
Think of the story of the master who provided money for his servants. The one who buried the money was the one who was punished. That is the way we should be towards the word of God and with our faith. Regardless of how much faith and hope you have, there will always be the question when your time comes of what you have done for the least of my brethren?
That is something I think of. Not fearing the persecution of spreading your faith. Not fearing of what happens when you do so as well. You can't save everyone and you can't help everyone no matter how much you try. How do you tell if your charity is being misused? I figured out that is where the use of prayer is most important. I don't believe I've provided much reason in my past to be given opportunity. I had a definite wild side to me, but God did open up to me and I have the faith I do today. But now that you have your gift, what do you do with it? I personally think to take it day by day. I am not one to seek out a thousand charities or to spend my time in volunteer. I do blame most of that on my anxiety. But, I do try to help when the opportunity arises. I have to admit others are better than me though, and that is the reason I am writing on charity. To think of giving without the expectation of return. To think of giving simply for your love of everyone as we are all children of God. When you've been hurt by many, sometimes it takes awhile for your heart to be open to others. Though my wish and my prayer is for the souls of my family especially. I guess everyone is a bit off, and it is conceded of me to think I'm on a better path than others. But I do. I see the path of Jesus and the path of a Christian and I do not see everyone on it. That makes me worry for the ones I love.