LESSON 12 - The Holy Spirit s Gift To Bear the Fruit of Charity

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1 LESSON 12 - The Holy Spirit s Gift To Bear the Fruit of Charity Opening Thoughts Love is the Theological Virtue that encompasses and supports all the other virtues. It is the only virtue which will still exist in Heaven. Our God is Love and Heaven is living in the presence of Love for eternity. The Gift of Wisdom perfects Charity. The Gift of Piety loves God so much we do not want to offend Him. The Gift of Fear of the Lord was to be in awe and reverence and so to Love him. St. Francis de Sales said We must fear God from love, not love God from fear. Love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid. Charity Love finds its perfection in Charity. We love God but we don't see Him. We can prove to Him our Love by loving others. The new commandment of Our Lord is "Love one another as I have loved you." This manifestation of Love compels the soul to do acts of charity for others. God is easily found in the needs of the poor, in the marginalized, the oppressed, the persecuted, the lonely, the outcast, those who suffer and all those who are last. No wonder the Lord has said that the last will be the first. On the day of Judgment, the Lord will reward us according to the way we treated our brothers and sisters, because in the same way we indeed treated our Lord.[Matthew 25:34-40] Our Lady was a living model of Charity. As soon as she was filled with the Holy Spirit, she felt the need to go and help her cousin Elizabeth.

2 How can one tell if they are too attached to the false loves of this world: simply ask yourself if you are thoroughly detached from the things of this world. And if one is too attached to the things of this world then he is full of false charity and exactly like the Rich Man in the New Testament who walked away from Christ when Our Lord asked him to give up everything he possessed and come follow Him if he wished to be perfect. When Father John Hardon was asked whether this Rich Young Man in the gospels was saved in his opinion, Father Hardon said he believed the Rich Young Man was lost because of his excessive attachments to the things of this world his money and all his possessions. When Father John Hardon was asked what he meant by detachment, he taught the following truth which he repeated again and again in the multitude of books he wrote on Catholic theology: "By detachment I mean, you must be detached from everything in this world. And when I say from everything, I mean from everything, from everything, from everything." Fr. Hardon taught that Our Lord wants us all to be rich, but only with the things that are spiritual, celestial, and eternal. Everything else is simply useless. St. Paul reiterates this very same truth rather strongly in Corinthians: "For Jesus Christ my Lord; I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as rubbish." All the things that one possesses have no value whatsoever unless they bring us safely to heaven.

3 Closing Thoughts Never forget that there is a God who deeply loves you and really wants to bring you to heaven. He delights in you and is eagerly looking forward to the day when you are united with Him. So practice coming into his presence. Get into the habit of saying No to sin and temptation. As you say No your fear will give way to eager expectation and a joy-filled hope. You will be coming home to the One who has loved you from before time began! Here are 13 of Father Larry Richards 30 tasks to becoming a man of God which are practical ways we can begin to increase an active charity in our lives. [ ] 1. Be a man who lives with your end in mind. Write down what you want God and others to say about you when you die. These should be your new goals in life. Now set up a plan on what you need to do to reach these goals. Be practical! [ ] 2. Be a man who knows God. If you do not know God yet, then decide today that you are going to go and do whatever it takes to get to know Him. Don't wait; life is short, and eternity is forever! [ ] 3. Be a man of prayer. Commit yourself to spending at least five minutes a day with God in prayer for the rest of your life, beginning today. [ ] 4. Be a man who lives as a beloved son. Be still and let God embrace you as His son. As He spoke to Jesus, let Him speak to you: "You are my beloved son." After spending time in His embrace, respond to Him and take five minutes to pray the "Our Father" from the depth of your being to your Father who is with you. [ ] 10. Be a man who daily surrenders to the Holy Spirit. Make a commitment to say a daily prayer of submission to the Holy Spirit!

4 [ ] 11. Be a man who uses the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Reflect on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and ask God to help you to use them in your life. Take one gift each day for the next seven days and humbly ask God for that gift. [ ] 12. Be a man who "fans into a flame" the fire of the Holy Spirit within you. Find a friend, or a priest or a deacon, and ask him to pray over you that you would fully receive and open your heart to the gift of God's Spirit. [ ] 17. Be a man who tells the people you love that you love them. Write a letter to your family members telling them how much you love them and then commit yourself to tell them that every day for the rest of your life. [ ] 18. Be a man who loves your enemies. Start praying for them and asking God to love them through you. [ ] 27. Be a man who prays and loves. The world must know that you love the Father. This is done by praying and loving live it. [ ] 28. Be a man who becomes another Christ. Spend time with Jesus reading the Gospels and write down the qualities of manhood that He possessed and ask Him to make them your own. [ ] 29. Be a man who lives God's vision for your life and the world, then live this vision with passion. [ ] 30. Be a man who changes the world one person at a time. Make a list of people you know who do not know Jesus and then pray for them and finally tell them about Jesus.

5 Questions & Answers How Did Jesus express his Love for Others? 1a. How would you feel about Jesus expression of love? Jesus was the Messiah, the anointed one. He could easily have asked each of the apostles to wash His feet and they would have been happy to pay Him this worship. But in Charity, Jesus washes their feet and makes them heirs to His Kingdom. As an apostle, I would be filled with Joy that MY Master honored me with His attention and carried out such an intimate act of Mercy. 1b. How does our experience of Jesus love empower us to love others? Jesus shows how much he loves us in his Humility and Obedience to the Father s mission. He who is without equal, God, takes on Human form so he may bring God s Word to humanity, not through a prophet but from God himself, the source of the Word. He comes to bring Mercy, Grace, Justice, Peace, Healing an most important Redemption. He does all this knowing He must lobe us enough to be obedient to His passion and death, so His Holy Spirit will bring about the Resurrection and make it available to all. 2a. Why do we know that God Loves us? God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to be sacrificed for the expiation of all sin. God is Love, because He loves his creatures he sent Jesus, who is also Love, who loved us enough to be obedient to the Father s love. Jesus after his resurrection sent us His love which is His Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the love that is shared between the Father and the Son. 2b. What is the connection between our love for God an our love for our brothers and sisters? If god so loved us, we must love one another. If we love one another, God remains in us and helps his love come to perfection in us. We know that we remain in Him and He in us because He has given us his Spirit, who is Love. 3. Have you been challenged to be loving to someone in the ways described by St. Paul.? St. Paul describes what love is and what it is not. Do we find it easier to focus our attention on eliminating the things in our life that love is not or on living out the virtues that embody love. We need to do righteous or virtuous acts out of love for others rather than continue our selfish acts which are generated by our love for ourselves. We should always remember Christ s parable of the beam and the splinter.

6 4. What are the three qualities of Charity which are based on our Christian Faith. When we accept the gift of divine love, charity creates a relationship between us and God, a "supernatural fraternity" that makes a difference in how we understand ourselves and in how we live. The gift of divine love awakens in us a realization of the gifted nature of existence. It also creates a "natural fraternity" relationship with others who are joined to God as recipients of that same divine gift. These are the three qualities of charity as Christian faith understands it: It is gift; it is acceptance; it is communion. Describe the two attributes of God s Love for us that we also must give to our neighbor. Thus Christian charity is not merely giving things to others, teaches the Holy Father. Charity is the love with which we give these things. Charitable works are the expression of love for others because we see in others a person whom God loves and whom we in turn also love. When love for neighbor is practiced well, it is given freely and without condition. We even come to be able to do what is humanly difficult to love the stranger, the one we do not like, the one we believe is unworthy. What are the Fruits we receive from sharing our charity? The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.

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