Lombardi editorial: Faith and charity

2013-02-02 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) In his weekly editorial, Fr. Federico Lombardi, sj, director of the Press Office of the Holy See, encourages readers to live charity more intensely. Below is Vatican Radio's English translation.

In recent weeks, several messages have been released which deserve reflection: those of the Pope for the World Day of the Sick on 11 February, and for this upcoming Lent, to which we willingly add the message for World Leprosy Day, last 27 January, issued by the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. In this Year of Faith, we need to live the relationship between faith and charity more intensely. There is not one without the other; otherwise we risk a disincarnate spiritualism or a philanthropy that is reduced to moralist activism.

The beauty, the spiritual appeal, the credibility of the Church that reaches the heart is a reflection of the splendour of charity, the warmth of love — love that is learnt from God through faith by looking to the cross of Jesus and participating in the Eucharist. Bernadette, Teresa of Lisieux, Raoul Follerau, Father Damian, St. Vincent de Paul and Mother Teresa are just some of the most known but how many others believed in the love of God and thus loved without measure, with abundance of heart, starting with the smallest and those suffering in body and spirit. With the supreme liberty of the law of love, of the first two commandments, which are just one: “Love, and do what you will!” said St. Augustine to those who let themselves be guided by the Spirit of Jesus. And St. Vincent de Paul added: “Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands.”

In the Church of charity, the little ones encounter the love of God that comes to them concretely; the sick understand that their suffering is the way to a love that is always greater, which they can give to the world together with Christ. Faith and charity. Let us listen to these messages. The world really becomes new.