Choose a topic from Part 2B:

27. Love, Chief Act of Charity

1. Charity consists in loving rather than in beingloved.

2. Charity is active friendship and love. It istherefore something more than good will, which is the condition andthe beginning of friendship.

3. God is loved out of charity for his own sake, not onaccount of anything other than himself. Yet in one way we can loveGod out of charity, and still have something else in view, as whenwe love God for the favors we receive or expect, but in such a waythat these very favors are loved because they dispose us to loveGod the more.

4. Even in this life, in which we are wayfarers, we canhave an immediate love of God, that is, love without amedium between lover and beloved. We know God through the medium ofcreated things; love moves the other way, for we love God first andthen love created things for the love of God.

5. We can love God wholly according to our owncreatural wholeness, but not according to the infinite wholeness ofGod. For we are finite, and cannot compass infinity.

6. We need no test or mode or measure in our love for God.St. Augustine says we need only go on measurelessly loving God.

7. It is, in itself, more meritorious to love a friendthan to love an enemy, just as it is worse to hate a friend than tohate an enemy. But, considering that the love of a friend is likelyto be less purely the effect of love of God, and also consideringthe distaste and difficulty that one must overcome to love anenemy, we see that it can be more meritorious to love an enemy thanto love a friend.

8. To love God is more meritorious than to love one'sneighbor. Indeed, to love one's neighbor is a meritorious actonly when we love him for the sake of God.

"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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