Advent is now upon us and, rejoicing in and living out the words of Pope Francis, we’ve assembled a list of simple acts of charity. They might seem small, but in reality they are true, concrete manifestations of God’s love. A heart conformed to God cannot remain permanently indifferent towards others. Do not cut the world off from your smile, your laughter, and the hope of God that is in you! The world needs it.
Charity cannot be reduced to mere humanism or to a project for human advancement. Material aid, however necessary it may be, is not the be-all and end-all of charity, which is participation in Christ’s love, received and shared. Every authentic charitable action is thus a tangible manifestation of God’s love for men and women and thereby becomes a proclamation of the Gospel. - Benedict XVI.
11 Acts Of Kindness That We Often Forget About
Smile! A Christian is always cheerful!
We don’t realize it but when we smile we lighten the load on those around us. When we go down the street, at work, at home, at school. Christian happiness is a blessing to others and to oneself. The one who has Christ in his life cannot be sad!
2. Greet the people you see every day with joy!
Treat and greet those people who open the door for you, deliver the mail to you, or clean your office with joy! You see them daily and when you greet them you remind them that what they do is very important. Both your work and their work are more comfortable if you make them see that they are valuable to others, that their presence changes things.
3. Remind others how much you love them.
You know you love them … but do they? The caresses, the hugs, and the words are so important. If Jesus had not become flesh, we would never have understood that God is Love.
4. Listen to the stories of others without prejudice and with love.
What can make us more human than knowing how to listen? Each story someone tells you unites you more with the other: their children, their partner, the boss, the teacher, their worries and joys. These stories are not only words, they are parts of their life that need to be shared.
5. Stop to help. Be attentive to who needs you.
What else can we say? It doesn’t matter if it’s a math problem, a simple question, or someone who is hungry, there is never enough help! We all need each other. Give your time to others.
6. Cheer someone up!
You know when the people around you are not doing well. Decide to make them smile, to let them know that not everything is bad. Offer an encouraging word or scripture verse. Treat them to their favorite coffee drink. Be creative! It is always good to know that there is someone who loves you and who will always be there despite difficulties.
7. Celebrate the qualities and successes of others
We tend to keep quiet about what we like and what makes us happy about others: their successes, their qualities, their good attitudes. Simple phrases like “Congratulations!”, “I’m very happy for you”, or “That looks amazing on you!” can make someone’s day and help us to see each other as God sees us.
8. Correct with love.
Correcting is an art. Many times we find ourselves in situations that we do not know how to handle. The best method is love. Love not only knows how to correct, but it knows how to forgive, accept and move on. Do not be afraid to correct and be corrected, that is a sign that others are betting on you and want you to be better.
9. Give what you don’t use to those who need it.
It is a good practice to get used to valuing what we have and if we have more than what we need, giving it away to those who can use it. This widens our hearts and makes us generous.
10. Clean up after yourself.
If you live with others, it is important to take care of and clean what you use on a daily basis. As Mother Teresa instructed, “Wash the dish not because it is dirty, but because you love the person who will use it next.”
11. Call your parents and grandparents on the phone!
Let the people who guided you and supported you know how much you love and care for them. Do not forget to thank them.
“To live charitably means not looking out for our own interests, but carrying the burdens of the weakest and poorest among us.” – Pope Francis