"Now there remain faith, hope, and charity - these three: but the greatest of these is charity" (I Cor. xiii. 3)
"God is charity. By this hath the charity of God appeared toward us, because God hath sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by Him....
"My dearest, if God hath so loved us, we also ought to love one another. . . . Let us love God because God first hath loved us. And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother " (i John iv).
"And this is charity, that we walk according to His commandments" (2 John vi).
"Before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins" (I Peter iv. 8).
"Love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. xiii. 10).
"All the law and the prophets depend upon the law of love" (Matt. xxii. 40).
A rightly ordered love moves us to the observance of every law. A loving soul is most obedient to the law. Love is the spring of its actions. Its love impels it to obey. St. Augustine understood this so well, that he hesitated not to say: "Dilige et fac quod vis": "Love, and do what you will" —St. Augustine, Tract. vii, in Epis.
"The end of the commandment is charity from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith" (1 Tim. i. 5).
And this is the "game of love". "By how much the more a man dies to himself, by so much more he lives to God." — St. Catherine Siena, Dialogue on Perfection.
All good things, all great things, in the world, have been accomplished through self-denial and self-control.
St. Teresa says: "Love spurs us on to do great things, and makes all that is bitter sweet and savory." — St. Teresa, Foundat. c. v.
The perfection of charity is attained by self-renunciation, by entire mortification, by purity of heart, and total abandonment to God.
Our Lord says : " Learn of Me;" "He that followeth Me walketh not in darkness" ; "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matt. viii. 34).
Father Buckler, speaking of charity, the essence of perfection, asks: "How are we to follow Christ?" And he replies: "The answer is, that Our Lord's way is the way of perfect love. He is the divine Lover of God and of men. For the love of God and of men He became incarnate, lived on earth, taught the law of love and the life of love, suffered for love and died for love sent down the Spirit of His love upon the Church, to be the ruling power of our lives and actions, by the charity of God poured forth into our hearts (Rom. v. 5), and left us the marvelous gift of Himself, to the end of the world, in the mystery of love on the altar, wherein He dwells as the divine Lover in the midst of those He loves — working with us, nourishing and perfecting His life of love in the souls of men. 'Be ye followers of God,' says St. Paul, 'and walk in love, as most dear children ' (Eph. v. 2)."
It is by charity that we follow Our Lord in the way of perfection.
Source: "My Prayer Book," Father Lasance, Imprimatur 1908