Here's a question for the girls this morning. How many girls have rag dolls? It looks as if they all have them. Not very long ago in New York City, a priest was instructing some children for their First Communion. On the day before they received he gave them their last lesson. He said that on such a great day they should bring to Christ the best they had. He meant they should bring hearts filled with childlike love and childlike purity. After Mass the next morning the children all left the church, very happy of their First Communion Day. The priest was leaving the sacristy. He stopped and picked up something from the altar rail. It was a little rag doll. One of its eyes had fallen out and been replaced by a button. One leg had been sewn on with different colored thread. There was a rip in the shoulder and the filling was peeping out. It was not worth much in the eyes of men. None of you children would have given me a nickel for it. But don't you think that this doll was as acceptable to Christ as the gifts which the Wise Men gave Him at Christmas? I do. Some little girl had given the best she had, even though the best she had was only a rag doll.
Two weeks ago we spoke about faith. Last week about hope. What is next? Charity. Suppose we call the doll Charity. It’s a girls name and a nice one. Don't you think that would please the little girl who gave it to our Lord on her First Communion Day? Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake and our neighbor and ourselves.
A Doctor of the Law once asked Our Lord tempting Him, "Master, what is the great commandment in the Law?" Jesus said to him, "Thou shalt love the Lord they God with thy whole heart and they whole mind and thy whole soul." This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like to this. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." We must love God for Himself alone, not just because He is good to us. It is easy for us to love our mother when she is making an apple pie for us, but that is not loving her for her own sake. We may love God when he sends us a fine day for our picnic, but we should love him whether it rains or shines. We must love our neighbors as ourselves, and neighbor includes everyone in the world. We show this love by helping our neighbor in need of body or of soul. Here is something that is very often forgotten. The souls in Purgatory are also our neighbors. We should pray for them. Give to God the best you can. The little girl in the story did just that. Don't you think she loved God for His own sake? She most certainly did. She gave all she had even though it was only a rag doll. Following her example, would you all kneel down and recite after me the following act of Charity: "O my God, I love thee above all things with my whole heart and soul because Thou art all good and worthy of al my love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen."
taken from: "Heavenwords," Imprimatur 1941