love

Two of the 7 heavenly virtues to match the sins start with c: chastity and charity, so the feeling of love here stands for charity.

Charity is on both virtue lists: the earlier list of faith hope and charity and the later list of seven heavenly virtues to match the sins. But that list is from  Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor who died around 410 A.D, so it’s not exactly recent. And that was in an epic poem entitled Psychomachia, or Battle/Contest of the Soul.

Which sin is the opposite of charity? Greed. I wrote about greed last year, under A is for Avarice. And yet I don’t think of the opposite of greed as love. Perhaps if we did think that we would be more generous. Right now it seems more that we revere the rich and also enjoy their downfall: addiction and scandal. Even with news covered with scandal and glorifying greed, I think there are still many people who are generous, who quietly practice love and charity. Let us celebrate them today and send them love in return.

Webster 1913:

Char”i*ty (?), n.; pl. Charities (#). F. charit’e fr. L. caritas dearness, high regard, love, from carus dear, costly, loved; asin to Skr. kam to wish, love, cf. Ir. cara a friend, W. caru to love. Cf. Caress.

1. Love; universal benevolence; good will.

Now abideth faith, hope, charity, three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1. Cor. xiii. 13.

They, at least, are little to be envied, in whose hearts the great charities . . . lie dead. Ruskin.

With malice towards none, with charity for all. Lincoln.

2. Liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to put the best construction on the words and actions of others.

The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable. Buckminster.

3. Liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity.

The heathen poet, in commending the charity of Dido to the Trojans, spake like a Christian. Dryden.

4. Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness.

She did ill then to refuse her a charity. L’Estrange.

5. A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret’s charity.

6. pl. Law Eleemosynary appointments grants or devises including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions.

The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless, Are scattered at the feet of man like flowers. Wordsworth.

Sisters of Charity R. C. Ch., a sisterhood of religious women engaged in works of mercy, esp. in nursing the sick; — a popular designation. There are various orders of the Sisters of Charity.

Syn. — Love; benevolence; good will; affection; tenderness; beneficence; liberality; almsgiving.

 

I took the photograph at Lake Matinenda, in Ontario, Canada in 2012. A place that I love….

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: the letter L

The dead are with me

I am at the lake. There are younger people with me. We go to the graveyard. The earth is soft and loose. There are no markers or stones. We do not need them.

“I can feel the people in the earth.” says one of the younger people.

“Me too!” says another.

“Of course.” I say. I name the people under the earth and introduce them. The young people are amazed. I am surprised that they have never felt the dead. I think the cities and concrete and phones and television and computers: all of these must block the signals. But we never allowed electricity here. The phones don’t work. Candles, aladdin lamps, propane stoves and heat with wood in old cabins. Thin shacks where we hear the wind and water, and tents, lying in the embrace of the earth.

We leave but when we come back, the young start to reach down into the soft earth, arms length. “Did they die young?” one asks. “We want to know more.”

“You must be patient.” I say. “Don’t push the dead.”

Later I return a third time to sit quietly alone with the dead. Dark falls, moonless, overcast, no stars. I stand to return to the cabins and my flashlight dies. I know the paths well, but not the path to the graveyard. I tie up my long skirt and kneel. I feel the ground gently. Yes, I can feel the path. I start to crawl slowly, stopping to feel the packed worn earth. I think of wolves and cougars but none have been here for years. It is not cold enough for exposure. It is just dark and slow. The dead are with me and approve.

Quiet

For the Daily Post Prompt: moody.

My daughter is 14 in this picture. I took it with a zoom lens. She is not standing on the bottom, she is far out in the water alone, quiet. When this is taken, she has been swimming since age 7. I think that she is most comfortable in the water, more so than on land.

This photograph doesn’t fit moody, at least in the sense of temperamental or gloomy and depressed. But think of the range of moods we all have.