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Defining the Pillars - Charity

Catholic charity places our actions at God’s disposal and allows Him to multiply what is being given.  Pope Francis recently said that he is “always struck by the disciples asking Jesus to send the crowd away to find their own food and lodging and Jesus telling them, ‘give them some food yourselves.’ In the face of the crowd’s needs, this is the disciples’ solution: Everyone takes care of himself; just dismiss the crowd. Many times we Christians have that same temptation; we don’t take on the needs of others, but dismiss them with a compassionate ‘May God help you’ or a not-so-compassionate ‘Good luck.’ ”

He goes on to explain, “What Jesus encouraged the disciples to do was an act of ‘solidarity,’ ” which is nothingother than “placing at God’s disposal what little we have, and our humble abilities, because only in sharing and in giving will our own lives be fruitful.”

The pope also observes, “My hope is that we will be movedby the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, and within habits which make us feel safe,while at our door people are starving and there stands Jesusnever tiring of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat.’ ”

We must not dismiss our brothers and sisters with empty“compassion.” With our humble abilities, we are charged to care for them, to give them a voice, and to share Christ’slove with them.

See Appendix for guidance and prayer reflection regarding the pillars and areas of focus.


  • Pope Francis Explains That to be True Disciples of Christ, One Must Stay True to Jesus’ Teachings, Rome Reports.com, March 14, 2013.
  • Our Lives Don’t Belong to Us,” Pope Francis says on Feast of Corpus Christi, Catholic Herald, May 31, 2013.
  • Selected Quotes of Pope Francis, USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, June 2013.
  • Pope Francis: Our Faith is ‘Not an Ornament,’ Catholic News Agency, Jan. 15, 2014.