Aloha Friday Message – October 12, 2012 – Ubi Caritas

1041AFC101212 Ubi Caritas

Read it online here, please.

KJV

1 Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

KJV 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all your things be done with charity.

NIV 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love.

NAB 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Your every act should be done with love.

In the King James Authorized Version (KJV) of the Bible, the word charity appears nine times in the first letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. Altogether in the Pauline Epistles – in the KJV – the word charity appears 18 times, so half of them are in 1 Corinthians. It occurs another seven times in other Epistles. It does not occur in the Old Testament, and it does not occur in the Gospels. In all the occurrences of charity in the New Testament are translated from a word very familiar to us by now – ἀγάπη – agape [ah-GAH-pay] – LOVE.

St Augustine had a pretty high opinion of Love. He reportedly wrote, “Love. Then do as you will.” Ah, easy enough if you’re a Saint among Saints, but for a puny little sinner like me, that Love Augustine is thinking about is the AGAPE of Christ. It is the real, heavy-duty, super-turbocharged diesel version of LOVE. Mine is more like a two-cycle weed-whacker motor kind of love. It takes everything I have to keep that going, too. I sputter to a jolting stop quite often when “Love your neighbor” turns into, “What is that idiot up to now?!?”

St. Augustine and St. Paul were pretty much on the same page when they talked about love – I don’t know why it got translated to charity in the KJV, but I’m sure there’s a good reason. They get the ideal of Love from Jesus, of course, who willing endured a nearly incomprehensible transition from Divine to human to Resurrected. That transition is one of the main reasons we can sing “Our God is an Awesome God.” Such LOVE is literally beyond our ability to understand. It is so huge. If you could understand God’s LOVE, you could probably also explain quantum mechanics, if and how the universe is expanding, and why kids love stomping in puddles. But we don’t understand LOVE, not even human love even though we know it’s more glorious than the whole universe because Love is God; God is LOVE.

We have lots of ways to express love, and lots of words for love. Here is a link to a couple of posts in the past that went into more detail. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not to satisfy your curiosity about what love is (Now I have that song stuck in my head “I wanna know what love i-i-i-i-i-s!“) Bottom line is that God expects us to try to love one another selflessly and without hostility – at the very least do not seek to cause harm to our neighbor. Even if that neighbor drives us absolutely crazy, out of love we treat them with kindness, even esteem. We are to bless them, not curse them. We are to forgive them as we are forgiven. Our goal is LOVE, – ἀγάπη. What does that mean to us? Can we really love everyone when it is sometimes so difficult to love anyone?

What about criminals and terrorists and bad people who do really bad things? Is there any possibility, any possibility at all, that God could love them? If so, then we should, too. It means that even if the people we love are pagans, we love them. It means even if we don’t understand why we suffer or even why the people we love suffer, we love God. It means that no matter how much we love or how many people or places or things we love, love is the quintessential element or our persona individually and collectively!!

Why?

Ahhh, beloved. It is so simple. We are created in the image of God.

Almighty
God
Is
Love
Eternal

Be agile in your love: Be A.G.I.L.E.

The words at the top of the page – UBI CARITAS – come from an ancient Latin chant. Here are a few verses with their translation:

So in this Latin hymn, charity and love are two different things. Charity is usually thought of as acts of kindness to supply something someone else needs – often money. Charity is humanitarian kindness, and it often arises out of humanitarian love. AGAPE is divine, PERFECT, kindness, and it always arises out of PERFECT Divine Love. Charity is one of the works of faith we call the Corporal Works of Mercy. You may recall we studied those during Lent in 2010. Charity is the pragmatic expression of the commandment to “Love thy neighbor as thineself.” It’s worth listing them once more as a reminder:

1. Feed the hungry,
2. Give drink to the thirsty,
3. Welcome the stranger,
4. Clothe the naked,
5. Care for the ill,
6. Visit the imprisoned,
7. Bury the dead.

Now we see a pattern emerge in these lyrics. We have LOVE and we have Charity. When we build our lives around these two things, we work on those two Greatest Commandments:

Matthew 22: 36-40 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So, “Where charity and Love are, God is there.” There is another hymn you might be thinking of as you read this: “Where Charity and Love Prevail.” Here are the first and last verses of that version.

Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love are we thus bound.

No race or creed can love exclude,
if honored be God’s name;
Our family embraces all
whose Father is the same.

And so, Beloved, we can know with certainty that we do His will when Charity and LOVE work together to the glory of God.

Share-A-Prayer

We pray for all whose vocation it is to serve God by serving others in his name. Ask God to strengthen and guide them in serving him through the work that they do. With God, we bless them for the sacrifices they make to bring souls into the Kingdom. We especially pray for his servants who go out into the world as missionaries to carry the Good News and the Sacraments to every land and nation.

Please, Lord, touch also the hearts and minds of our laity to come forward to serve in the ministries of our churches and encourage many of our laity to volunteer time, talent, and treasure to help our churches be a blessing to our communities through their compassionate service to others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray for the prisoners, especially those like JR, who are unjustly accused.

Pray for all who are deaf to the Gospel because they oppose “organized religion.” Help them to see and understand that FAITH is a community-based human experience, not a solo-flight with our own background music.

Pray for our leaders – past, present, and future – and for our electorate so that we will once again as a nation focus on truth that is true and lasting, justice that is righteous and merciful, and leadership that is moral, just, compassionate, wise, and governs with integrity.

Pray for one another, Beloved, that all of us will have the will to do small things with great love, that love which we share among all of the members of the Moon Beam Network. Let everything we do be done in LOVE.

I love you. Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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