Faith is dead without charity

Faith is dead without charity

The life of Saint Vincent De Paul is an exemplary example of how much one should love God and love those in need.

He was the son of a farmer.  He had a burning desire right from his early childhood to reach out to the poorest of the poor and the destitute.  He pursued his religious studies and became a priest at the age of nineteen.  

Five years later he became victim to Turkish pirates and felt the pain of being in captivity. Two years later he managed to escape.  King Louis who admired his love for God and his spirit of charity, appointed him as ‘General Almoner’ a post that gave him full charge of dispensing charity to the poor and needy.
Vincent De Paul spared not an inch of time in reaching out to the poor.  He visited prisons and comforted the prisoners he touched the lives of slaves, built hospitals for the poor.  He spent a huge amount to ransom over one thousand two hundred slaves.

Seeing his undying spirit of charity, many began contributing money towards his mission, some young people  even joined him in his work and went on to become priests forming a congregation of their own under the leadership of this Holy man.   They began to see God in the poor and the suffering.

We can have an immense love for God and perform all the rituals and spiritual exercises prescribed by the religion we profess; but if it is not coupled with works of charity, everything is in vain.

In the Bible we read of the exhortation of the apostle James. “What does it profit, my
brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2: 14-17)

The letter to the Hebrews says “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).

When death knocks our door, God is not going to ask us how much we have, but how much we have given.

Not how much we have won, but how much we have done. Not how much we have saved, but how much we have sacrificed.

Not how much we have been honored but how much we have served.

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