Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 14 - In Charity There Is Everything

"What is faith but the carriage that bears us to our native land? What is hope but the food we take for our journey through life's hardships? And those other virtues of temperance, prudence, fortitude and justice — what are they but the weapons given us for the struggle?

"But when death has been swallowed up by that perfection of charity which is achieved in the vision of God there will be no more faith, because faith was the preparation for that vision, and there will be no need to believe what we see and love. And when we embrace God with the arms of our charity, there will be no more hope, for there will be nothing left to hope for. And as for the other virtues, temperance is our weapon against lust, prudence against error, fortitude against adversity, justice against injustice. But in charity there is also perfect chastity, and so no lust for temperance to combat; in charity there is the fullness of knowledge, and so no error for prudence to guard against; in charity there is true blessedness, and so no adversity for fortitude to overcome; in charity all is peace, and so there is no injustice for justice to withstand."

Aelred of Rievaulx, The Mirror of Charity 1, 31: CCM 1, 51-52

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