The words of St Paul in his first letter to Corinthians (below) are as relevant now as they were in the era they were written as a caution against arrogance and a declaration that without charity, hope and faith are as nothing. The significant factor is to enact your faith and hope in actively demonstrating the love of Christ in all your doings. Charity has also been translated as ‘love’ but perhaps ‘compassion’ is a better synonym. Those who, through A Course in Miracles, travel the ‘king’s highway’ beyond the world of perception to the immortal realms, are still presented with living, for just a little while, within the dreaming of a world. The posts published here are expressions of Charity as a way of living that demonstrates the continuing miracle of our forgiveness; our love for one another, our need to learn to “give all to all” and to be “truly helpful” in all ways at all times and to all.
Charity is defined in Chapter 2, V of the Text (below) as “a way of perceiving the perfection of another”, which is an act of faith amongst equals and a method of healing peculiar to this Course. A broader understanding of charity is “a way of living in the world” expressed in Workbook Lesson 155:
“I Will Step Back and Let Him Lead the Way” –
“There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before.”
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Letter of the Apostle Paul – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – King James Bible
“Healing rests on charity, and charity is a way of perceiving the perfection of another even if you cannot perceive it in yourself… Charity is really a weaker reflection of a much more powerful love-encompassment that is far beyond any form of charity you can conceive of as yet. Charity is essential to right-mindedness in the limited sense in which it can now be attained.” T-2.V.9
“Charity is a way of looking at another as if he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishments in time. Since his own thinking is faulty he cannot see the Atonement for himself, or he would have no need of charity. The charity that is accorded him is both an acknowledgment that he needs help, and a recognition that he will accept it. Both of these perceptions clearly imply their dependence on time, making it apparent that charity still lies within the limitations of this world. I said before that only revelation transcends time. The miracle, as an expression of charity, can only shorten it. It must be understood, however, that whenever you offer a miracle to another, you are shortening the suffering of both of you. This corrects retroactively as well as progressively.” T-2.V.10.