5 Shortcuts to a Life of Charity

Charity isn't the easiest virtue to master. And with St. Paul's warning that our good works mean nothing without charity, we see how important it is to practice. Here's a few practical ways to install charity into every day life.

Give to people what they want, not what you think is best. We've all said it- "If I give him money, he'll just spend it on alcohol or drugs." Give your gifts unconditionally, and don't worry about how someone else will use them. As long as there's no evil in the gift itself, the way it's used isn't on your shoulders. Besides, most of us use this as an excuse to give nothing at all.

Pick out one thing every day to do something special for someone. Not something you already do. Something new and extra. And do it quietly. Mt:6:3:3 "But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth."

Say five Hail Mary's every day for someone you don't like. Pray for their general well being?not for them to change or leave you alone. "Oh Lord, let this man see his evil ways, and turn to You" isn't a charitable prayer at all.

Ask yourself before you go to bed if you're holding any grudges. If you are, then stop. Charity is impossible without mercy. Push your anger towards someone to the back of your heart and let it suffocate. Don't allow yourself to fantasize about revenge, and pray for them.

When you can't feel it, fake it. Charity won't always overwhelm you with feel good emotions. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult. So put your feelings aside and forge ahead. If you have a hard time caring about someone, just treat them as you would want to be treated.

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