“Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved.” ~ St. Charles Borromeo
Charity and love are words that are often used interchangeably. I like to think of charity and love as two sides of the same coin. When we flip a coin, we all know that it has a head’s side and a tail’s side. We also know that it is the same denomination. A nickel is still a nickel whether it comes up head’s or tail’s.
Charity is more the actionable or external part of the virtue while love is more the interior aspect of the virtue. Our love for others prompts us to show that love by works of charity. Charity is not done without the backing of love. They are, in that regard, one and the same.
Borromeo — dear me, how come every time I see or write Borromeo I think about Boromir from the Lord of the Rings?! — tells us that charity, the expression of love, saves a person. Without charity, we are truly lost.
St. Paul wrote about that in his famous letter to the Church in Corinth. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” If we talk the talk but do not walk the walk, we are nothing, we are meaningless creatures. If we act out of love, though, we are doing the works of God.
Do you want to be saved? Don’t talk about love. Be a person of love.
FAITH ACTION: Act out of love today in all your encounters with others and don’t forget to love yourself just as you love others. God would want it no other way.