Charity Is Realized In Unity

I do a lot of driving for the kiddo. My favorite podcasts are less active in the summer, so I’ve been looking for other things to fill the gap. While browsing Spotify, I stumbled across the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Lately, I’ve been praying the rosary with them. I know there are assigned days for each set of mysteries, but this newbie has just been listening to the joyful mysteries over and over.

The second joyful mystery is called the visitation. Like all of the mysteries, the Sisters introduce it by reading scripture and making a short prayer. Part of which includes:

We pray for the virtue of charity. Mary’s charity in visiting her cousin Elizabeth enabled their sons to meet mystically in their mothers’ wombs.

Charity is always realized by unity.

 

Charity is always realized by unity.

Those words have been running around in my head for weeks.

Charity isn’t a one-way street of “haves” giving to “have-nots.” This is something I have to repent of. I can pipe up with the verse re: give in secret. But when I give remotely, anonymously, furtively, then I’m supporting an idea, not a person. A cause, not my brother.

The poverty of loneliness

I’m reminded of what Mother Teresa said. “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

We sometimes think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.

Have you noticed how frequently homeless persons have dogs? Even though shelters and halfway houses do not accept pets. Why would they adopt these animals then?

Because our human need for connection, to give and receive love, our need for unity is even greater than our need for shelter and security.

Even for introverts?


I’m an introvert. I’d rather eat my shoes than approach a stranger for conversation. Passing a drink out of my car window seemed much easier.  Pressing a five-spot into a woman’s hand then hustling away was safer. I could check “corporal act of mercy (1)” off my list and move on.

But there comes a point when we have to admit that “It is/isn’t in my nature” is not a justification.

We inherited our sin nature from our first parents: Adam and Eve. Our inclinations against unity are not something to embrace, but to repent of. To rise above.

We must remember our other inheritance. We are image bearers of God. Not only to have but bear. To carry to others in unity. The glow of a lonely person’s face when you ask “What’s your dog’s name?” is the brightest light this side of Heaven.

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3 comments

  1. Such a tall order, but no less important. Going beyond “checking the box,” but rather looking into the soul of the human you are interacting with – sometimes more difficult than it sounds – is definitely a tall order!

    Thank you for this reflection!

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