Monday, March 18, 2013

Charity's is the Face of Christ

As many are observing the new pope as a humble man with a heart for the poor, the following quote from my breviary seemed apropos.  It is from the great Lutheran scholar Charles Porterfield Krauth.

Charity's is the face of Christ.  He is gone - yet lo, he is here always, dwelling in the faithful and the holy.  Oh, if Christ, the suffering, Christ, the hungering and thirsting, the naked and the sick, the stranger and prisoner, still abides on earth in the persons of those who suffer, abides in their persons because his love makes him one with them - Christ the pitying and relieving moves among us in the persons of those who pity and relieve, moves in their persons because his grace makes them one with him.  As the burdened and sorrowing "fill up the measure of the afflictions of Christ," so do the loving and helping become channels of that stream of his love which yet remains to be poured upon the world through every age, filling up the measure of the benedictions of Him who ascended on high that He might give gifts to men.  Charity has gazed on the incarnate Mercy, and loved, and followed, and given herself up to His transforming power, till she has been changed into his very image.  Those who would know how Christ looked, must not go to the dim imaginings of the painter or the sculptor, but must fix on her their eyes, and learn form her what was the marvelous beauty of him who was "fairer than the children of men." 
--from Poverty: Three Essays for the Season

1 comment:

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