[continued from yesterday]
The third principle is that of charity; which means that we should take a chance of doing good when we get it, and should not be too often on our own defensive. Charity does not calculate too much, charity is not too discriminating, charity does not care to haggle, charity does not demand a quid pro quo, charity expects to make many a mistake, charity shuts its eyes and goes on.
This is a point that needs little development; it only needs that we should take it to ourselves - prudently and wisely, if we like, but none the less truly and practically.
We can always see the beauty of self-sacrificing charity in others; let us not forget that in ourselves it can be no less beautiful. In others we can see its conquering power; the same can it effect in ourselves.
"There remain, then," to use the words of St. Paul, "these three."
Faith teaches us to believe in everybody, not as satisfied optimists, but as men amongst our fel1ow-men.
Hope gives us the confidence that nothing we do is wasted.
Charity goes further; it bids us not easily to miss a chance of doing good, not to act on the defensive, never to use the argument that we are not obliged as a reason for standing aloof.
You want to do something worth doing before you die; seize the opportunities that are given you every day, and in the end you will find that something has been done.
Do not be for ever waiting for the great occasion, and fretting because it never seems to come; if you keep waiting, and meanwhile do nothing, either the occasion will never come, or when it comes you will not recognise it, or you will be so utterly unpractised in the art of doing and giving that you will be unable to seize it.
On the contrary, make your own occasion; give, and give, and give again. You will find that one great deed will lead to another; your hands will never be empty. There is always work for such workers; this is a profession which is not overstocked, in which competition is not great, and yet of which the profits are portentous.
Of what kind are those profits? Not always of money, though even in the matter of money it is strange how often genuine charity is requited; but rather of biood; not of broad acres, but of human hearts; not perhaps in the goods of this world, where rust and the worm destroy, but in a world where there are no thieves, and canker does not enter.
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918