Lent Day 21: Caritas in Veritate et Amor (Charity in Truth and Love)

Collect: May your grace not forsake us, O Lord, we pray, but make us dedicated to your holy service and at all times obtain for us your help.

Well, Tuesday was quite the rousing day. Went to class, and then went to daily Mass. The Gospel was on the parable of the Master who forgave the debt of one servant but not the other. The servant who was forgiven did not help the servant who was not, and so he was punished; we who are forgiven are called to help and forgive others.

That night, we had a guest speaker, Andreas Widmer, a former Swiss Guard to Pope St. John Paul II and the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at The Catholic University of America. He spoke of his early childhood and how it influenced his life in the military and then joining the Swiss Guard. It wasn’t until after he left the Guard and entered the business world when he realized the depth of what St. John Paul II did for him.

We are called to holiness; as beings made in God’s image, we are then called to be more like God. How, then, do we become more like God?

God is a creator, and so therefore, we are called to create. What, then, are we called to create? Well, of course, that depends.

We are all gifted with certain talents, weaknesses, and subtleties that make our lives unique. We, therefore, are called to create for God, and in doing so, we make ourselves more human, for God, ourselves, and fellow man.

Ora et Labora, prayer and work as the Benedictines say. Let us use our time to properly discern what it is we can do to serve God and others best to our abilities. Be it teaching, the medical profession, religious life, business, or whatever. Let our work be a prayer of thanksgiving to God and may our work make us authentically human.

Of course, our work must take for consideration the blessed poor. Our work must help others become more authentically human. Our work must show others that they are truly children of God. That, therein, is true charity.

True Catholic charity is being able to show a person the truth that they are blessed and that God loved them to the point that he sent his only Son to die for us. Let us not subject the poor to the materialistic whims of the world. Let us show the poor that they are human.

“In God’s plan, every man is born to seek self-fulfillment, for every human life is called to some task by God. At birth a human being possesses certain aptitudes and abilities in germinal form, and these qualities are to be cultivated so that they may bear fruit. By developing these traits through formal education of personal effort, the individual works his way toward the goal set for him by the Creator. Endowed with intellect and free will, each man is responsible for his self-fulfillment even as he is for his salvation. He is helped, and sometimes hindered, by his teachers and those around him; yet whatever be the outside influences exerted on him, he is the chief architect of his own success or failure. Utilizing only his talent and willpower, each man can grow in humanity, enhance his personal worth, and perfect himself.” ~Blessed Pope Paul VI in “Populorum Progressio”

“Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God’s plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free. To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth”. All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth” ~Pope Benedict XVI in “Caritas in Veritate”

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