Josemaría Escrivá Obras
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Therefore I repeat to you with St Paul, 'I may speak with every tongue that men and angels use; yet, if I lack charity, I am no better than echoing bronze, or the clash of cymbals. I may have powers of prophecy, no secret hidden from me, no knowledge too deep for me; I may have utter faith, so that I can move mountains; yet if I lack charity, I count for nothing. I may give away all that I have to feed the poor; I may give myself up to be burnt at the stake; if I lack charity, it goes for nothing.'

Some people have reacted to these words of the Apostle to the Gentiles like those disciples who, on hearing Our Lord promise the Sacrament of his Body and Blood, commented: 'This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?' It is indeed hard, because the charity described by St Paul is not just philanthropy, humanitarianism or an understandable sympathy for the sufferings of others. Rather it requires the practice of the theological virtue of loving God and of loving others for the sake of God. This is why 'charity never fails, whereas prophecies will disappear, and tongues will cease, and knowledge will be destroyed... So there abide faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.'

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