Lesson 42: Charity
"And one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him:  'Master, which is the great commandment in the law?'  Jesus said to him:  'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  And the second is like to this:  Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.'"  (Matthew 22:35-40)

  1. What is charity?

  2.    The virtue by which you love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself for the love of God.
    "And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three:  but the greatest of these is charity."    (1 Corinthians 13:13)

  3. What is the love of God?

  4.    Perfect love is love of God because He is supremely perfect and good in Himself; whereas, imperfect love is based on gratitude for benefits received and hope for benefits to come.

  5. Can you love God without loving your neighbor?

  6.    No, because:
    "If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar.  For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?"    (1 John 4:20)

  7. Who is your neighbor?

  8.    Every human being on earth, the souls in Purgatory, the Angels and Saints.

  9. How should you love your neighbor?

    1. Wishing him well for the love of God.
    2. Performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

  10. What are the spiritual works of mercy?

    1. To admonish the sinner.
    2. To instruct the ignorant.
    3. To counsel the doubtful.
    4. To comfort the sorrowful.
    5. To bear wrongs patiently.
    6. To forgive all injuries.
    7. To pray for the living and the dead.

  11. What are the corporal works of mercy?

    1. To feed the hungry.
    2. To give drink to the thirsty.
    3. To clothe the naked.
    4. To ransom the captive.
    5. To shelter the homeless.
    6. To visit the sick..
    7. To bury the dead.
    "To ransom the captive" was put in this list obviously from the days when Moslems took Christians captive as slaves.  Perhaps this currently less common work of mercy should be replaced by "To save the pre-born", now that abortion is so prevalent.

  12. What are some of the sins against charity?

    1. Thinking or speaking unkindly of others.
    2. Acting unkindly toward others.
    3. Hatred.
    4. Envy.
    5. Causing discord.
    6. Scandal.
    7. Co-operating in the sins of others.
    8. Not forgiving those who have offended you.
    9. Not helping those who need your help.