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Catholic Dictionary




A supernatural act, based on faith, wherein God is loved for himself and not for any hope of reward. An act of charity requires divine grace, either sanctifying or actual or both. It is necessary for justification in the absence of baptism, sacramental absolution, or anointing. It is also the normal way of growing in the virtue of charity. A simple and widely used act of charity says: "My God, because you are so good, I love you with all my heart, and for your sake, I love my neighbor as myself. Amen." (Etym. Latin caritas, love; from carus, dear.)