Wednesday, March 20, 2013


What is the sum of all the doctrine touching the performance of the works of mercy?

The Apostle has as it were comprised the whole matter in this one saying: Bear (a) one another's burdens: and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ, that is, the law of charity, of which law again he says: (b) If there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this saying, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And the Apostle St. Peter: (c) Before all things, says he, having mutual charity continually among yourselves: because charity covers the multitude of sins. Which precept, or office of showing mercy or charity, as it is most agreeable to nature and reason: so does it touch even all kinds of men without exception: insomuch as of this we read it written: (d) God has given every man a charge of his nature. And he has given charge in this manner, as Christ interprets: (e) All things whatsoever that you will men to do to you, do you also to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.

(a) Gal 6
(b) Rom 13; Gal 5
(c) I Pet 4
(d) Ecclus 7
(e) Mat 7; Luk 6

St. Peter Canisius, A Sum of Christian Doctrine, p. 304. I have modernized some spelling and (very slightly) some wording. The Latin is found here, p. 214.

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