“Charity is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands.”
All the giving of the world comes to nought if it’s not from the heart that wishes to give. It’s the heart that owns abundance, not the hand.
As charity — or otherwise, love — begins at home, so does it commence from our innermost being. Charity cannot authentically come from extrinsic bases.
And though it happens it’s never something that truly occurs extrinsically. It can never be the hand that designs the acts of love, although the hand, in faith, expresses the desire to love and it does complete the feat. Hands are just as important — they just come more rightly as an output of heartfelt action.
There are all sorts of well-meaning turns of phrase around the humble morning coffee; our faithful “heart-starter” — that little shot of caffeine bringing us into more conscious wakefulness.
Charity, however, is the real heart-starter, for our hearts will not be further engaged — and indeed fuelled for the day ahead — without thought of charity. It is, therefore, a key ingredient in our living joyfully and volitionally.
Let our virtuous hearts always inform our hands. May the hands faithfully serve the heart... for the hand that does not serve has a contemptuous heart to blame for it, hiding deep and behind it all.
The Source of All Motivation
The heart is central to the flow of our being. It begins and ends there; the heart even informing the mind how it’s to think (despite better conscience).
But we just as easily address our estranged hearts by investing much good and virtuous thought and prayer — the power of the mind — to redress heart deficiencies... and we all have them.
Our objective, then, is to identify where we lack motive for God’s best for us — as it pertains to others — and to work on improving those matters at no better a level than at the core — our hearts.
This is about asking very honestly... “Why?” Why do we do bad things or things that feel bad? And how well or acutely are our consciences piqued?
The heart must always be the target of our keenest growth. All else springs from it.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.