Charity is simply defined as a voluntary aid you offer or is given to those in need. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also defines it with admirable brevity: “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (No. 1822). The charitable giving of an individual is a mere drop in the bucket when one considers the overwhelming needs in our world. But we should guard against discouragements that come from People’s selfishness, lack of adequate finances, diabolism associated with random charitable organizations, and crimes often associated with giving now overly rampant in the society. By focusing on bible verses such as,
Mathew 5: 42 – Give to those who ask and do not turn away from those who want to borrow.
Matthew 25: 35, 36, 40 – For I was hungry you, you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked you and you clothe me. I was in prison and you visited me. And the king will say “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters you are doing it to me.
Proverbs 22: 9 – Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor.
Proverbs 28: 27 – Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing and he who turns his back on poverty will be cursed.
We must also recall that God works in mysterious was and he has the ability multiply your contributions as seen in John 6: 10- 13, where Jesus fed 5000.
Among the gifts of the Holy Spirit that St. Paul lists, he includes the gift of contributing, or giving:
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you Leadership ability you must take it seriously. And if you have the gift of showing kindness to others, do it gladly. – Rom 12:8
There are some special charisms that, like all gifts of the Spirit, is given to certain individuals for the good of the Church. But that does not let the rest of us off the hook. Each of us is expected to do our part in building up the kingdom of God on earth.
The Church recognizes three theological virtues, those that relate us most directly to God: faith, hope, and charity. Although he lists it last, St. Paul says charity is the greatest of all the virtues (1 Cor 13:13). While “charity” is a common word, it has a specific meaning for Christians. It is not compulsory that giving entails only finances, one can give by preaching the word of God or by rendering helpful services to others.
Most common forms of charity include the provision of necessities such as food, water, clothing, healthcare, and shelter. Some more challenging means include: Visiting the imprisoned bearing gifts and preach to them, Providing homes for the homeless, Educating orphans in both moral and social values and most importantly providing for the servants of God. To achieve the later, people often come together and create foundations.
It is very important to know that charity begins at home, therefore one must make a substantial effort to share cheerfully with friends and family members because being hostile and stingy at home and being excessively generous to strangers or bearing grudges against your neighbor while giving contradicts the purpose of charity. Therefore one must be careful to be helpful at home in things you are capable of accomplishing, be loyal and supportive with your friends and then you will gain the full rewards of a cheerful giver and participating in reducing world hunger.