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.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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