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Charity and justice are a spiritual service

· Benedict XVI recalls the true Christian meaning of love for one's neighbour ·

There are no limits to helping our neighbours, but it is essential that it be done in the light of the Holy Spirit, so that pure activism is not lost. Two truths: announcing the Word of Gospel and the duty to charity, therefore “both should live in the Church” and have “their place” and their “necessary relationship”. The Pope quoted the narrative of St Luke in the Acts of the Apostles in order to address the issues of the Church's involvement with “people who are along and in need of assistance and aid”. In the Catechesis of the General Audience this morning, Wednesday, 25 April, Benedict XVI proposed again “primary need to announce the Word of God according to the Lord's mandate” which places on the same level “the duty to charity and to justice, thus the duty to assist widows, the poor, to provide situations of need with love, where brothers and sisters are found”. Because even in this case it is important to respond “to God's commandment: love one another”.

In this view charity and justice should not be interpreted as “social actions” but also as “spiritual actions”. Thus they are called to solidify this double expression as the only mission of the Church: “they cannot be only organizers that know how 'to do'” but also “people full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom” because the work that they do, even though mostly practical, in a special way has a spiritual function.

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Sept. 19, 2019

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