Caritas

"IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY." - St. Augustine

There is some discussion as to whether or not this quote is really from St. Augustine of Hippo, but the point remains the same.  No matter what, we need to be charitable.  (If you don't know the definition of "caritas", look it up.  If you think it means being nice and giving stuff to people who don't have stuff, look it up.)

Dear Husband and I were visiting a friend this weekend, and joined her for worship at her Episcopalian church.  Her pastor, in the sermon, brought up the fact that (in an anonymous comment, of course), someone said,  "The pastor is a waste."  That was it:  "a waste".  There is NOTHING charitable in that comment.

I often have to work with people who want to join the Church, get their spiritual lives in order, have a marriage annulled or blessed and their past spiritual lives are...messy.   Irregular.  Charity is the first order of "business".

I also talk to people all the time who think I am wrong, and/or I think they are wrong, in theological issues.  Some people think sheer bombasticy (Is that a word?  Tis now.) will win the argument.  Charity goes right out the window.

God is love.  We should be too.  That doesn't mean we don't offer to turn people around, to guide them on the path of righteousness, or sit them down and tell 'em the truth.  But we should always, always be charitable.  Nothing good has ever been accomplished through mean-spirited anonymous comments, harsh treatment of sins and mistakes, or blasting someone in an argument.  Be kind, be truthful, be charitable.

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