The Following of Christ, Book I, Chapter XV

cover of the ebook 'The Following of Christ'Of works done out of charity

1. Evil ought not to be done, either for any thing in the world, or for the love of any man: but for the profit of one that stands in need, a good work is sometimes freely to be omitted, or rather to be changed for a better.

For, by doing thus, a good work is not lost, but is changed into a better.

Without charity, the outward work profits nothing: but whatever is done out of charity, be it ever so little and contemptible, all becomes fruitful.

For God regards more with how much affection and love a person performs a work, than how much he does.

2. He does much who loves much.

He does much that does well what he does.

He does well who regards rather the common good than his own will.

That seems often to be charity which is rather natural affection: because our own natural inclination, self-will, hope of retribution, desire of our own interest, will seldom be wanting.

3. He that has true and perfect charity, seeks himself in no one thing: but desires only the glory of God in all things.

He envies no man, because he loves no private joy; nor does he desire to rejoice in himself: but above all good things, he wishes to be made happy in God.

He attributes nothing of good in any man, but refers it totally to God, from whom all things proceed as from their fountain, in the enjoyment of whom all the saints repose as in their last end.

Ah! if a man had but one spark of perfect charity, he would doubtless perceive that all earthly things are full of vanity.