A correspondent sends the following extracts from Lesson 10, “The Virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Ghost,” in the Confraternity Edition of the Baltimore Catechism, published in the late 1940s. Within living memory, it seems, there were people who did not identify God’s Kingdom with an inhuman secular utopia:
Love for our neighbor, to be charity, must be based on a supernatural motive—namely, the fact that everyone of our fellow men either possesses grace or is capable of possessing it. If we love a person merely because of his natural qualities, we are not making an act of charity. When Our Lord told us to love our neighbor as ourselves, He meant that we must love all our fellowmen in the same MANNER as we love ourselves—that is, supernaturally—but not necessarily in the same MEASURE. Moreover, we are not obliged to love all our fellow men in the same degree. We can and should have greater love for those who are united to us by the bonds of relationship, faith and nationality.”
B. Problems and Exercises
(12) Celine finds it hard to love her Protestant, Jewish and pagan neighbors in the same measure as she loves her own family and cousins. Her grandparents were all born in France. On that account she loves the French people more than those of any other nation except her own. Do any of her ideas on charity need correcting? State the reason for your solution.