What do these passages from the Word tell us about the importance of loving the neighbor and having compassion for those in need?
- “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
- “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:33).
- When people who are perceptive have feelings of compassion they know that they are being alerted by the Lord to offer help (Arcana Coelestia 6737).
Consider also these ideas from “Truly Christian Charity” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh:
- The Lord is constantly operating through people to bring about what is good.
- Think of the Lord’s good as a sphere of love constantly surrounding us, much as the sun’s heat is constantly bathing the earth. When it is received, it works and produces something of good.
- Genuine charity does not limit the love that prompts our mercy but directs it to the most effective end.
Readings about true charity
- “Charity” by Robert P. Cole
A simple talk about what charity is and why it is important.
- “Truly Christian Charity” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh
A sermon on how we can do our part to let the Lord’s love shine in the world.
Projects and activities for all ages
- Let Your Light Shine (ages 10 and up)
Take turns lighting a candle as you "give glory to the Lord" for letting you help Him touch the lives of people around you.
- A Basket of Uses (ages 3-8)
Put a variety of tools and other things into a basket or box. Children try to identify how these things could be used to help people.
- Secret Angels (ages 5-12)
Being a secret angel is one way to practice being charitable. After choosing a name out of a hat, these “angels” secretly look for ways to help that person and do good things for them.
- Being Alerted by the Lord (teens and up)
Are you aware of times when the Lord may have been inspiring you to help someone?
- Garden versus Desert (ages 12 and up)
Illustrate a garden and a desert side by side. What can we do to make our lives like a beautiful garden?
- Family Outreach
Look for something that you can do as a family that will help other people. Perhaps, you could work together to make a meal for a family with a new baby. Or rake leaves for an elderly neighbor. You are sure to come up with an idea if you think about your friends and extended family, the people in your neighborhood, your local school, your church, etc. Afterwards, reflect on the happiness you gave and received through your acts of charity and how both are really from the Lord.
We won’t be able to help people in every situation. And there are even times when someone asks for something that may not be good to give them. The Lord wants us to be careful that what we do is truly helpful. But we can see clearly that when there is a great need, there is often a great outpouring of support as well. And people constantly help others in small ways, every day. All of this comes from the sphere of charity, of love for the neighbor, which comes from the Lord to surround and inspire us.
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