Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 1, Chapter 15: Of works of charity

Of works of charity

For no worldly good whatsoever, and for the love of no man, must
anything be done which is evil, but for the help of the suffering
a good work must sometimes be postponed, or be changed for a
better; for herein a good work is not destroyed, but improved.
Without charity no work profiteth, but whatsoever is done in
charity, however small and of no reputation it be, bringeth forth
good fruit; for God verily considereth what a man is able to do,
more than the greatness of what he doth.
He doth much who loveth much.  He doth much who doth well.  He
doth well who ministereth to the public good rather than to his
own.  Oftentimes that seemeth to be charity which is rather
carnality, because it springeth from natural inclination,
self-will, hope of repayment, desire of gain.
He who hath true and perfect charity, in no wise seeketh his
own good, but desireth that God alone be altogether glorified.
He envieth none, because he longeth for no selfish joy; nor doth
he desire to rejoice in himself, but longeth to be blessed in God
as the highest good.  He ascribeth good to none save to God only,
the Fountain whence all good proceedeth, and the End, the Peace,
the joy of all Saints.  Oh, he who hath but a spark of true
charity, hath verily learned that all worldly things are full of

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