Charity

Charity may be likened to the fragrance of a flower. If, upon entering a room, one catches the delicate perfume of lily-of-the-valley, he knows at once that the flowers themselves are near by. He has not yet seen them, but he is positive they are there, because he has recognized one of their qualities, the fragrance which emanates from them. The fragrance is not the flower, but it is the witness that the flower is there. So it is with charity; wherever we find it, we know that Love is there. We know, beyond a doubt, that the consciousness which habitually sends forth a mental aroma such as this must of necessity be also that consciousness wherein divine Love is enthroned.

There are few more beautiful words in all the English language than charity. It is a word embracing within its meaning such rare and gracious qualities as tenderness, gentleness, tolerance, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, compassion. Our beloved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, speaks of "a charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 224). Charity, indeed, "suffereth long, and is kind." It "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Like the divine source from which it emanates, it "never faileth." Charity gathers beneath its wings tired, suffering, sin-sick humanity, and says, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Charity wraps its mantle about an erring brother, and protects him from the icy blasts of criticism while he is trying to work out his problem. Charity understands: that is why it can forgive.

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The Song on the Ash-Cart
December 9, 1922
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