charity

Latin: caritas, love

A supernatural, infused virtue, by which we love God above everything for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for God‘s sake. As an act of supernatural virtue it requires a motivation based on Divine revelation. Charity, in the strict sense of the word, cannot exist in a person who has never heard of revelation, though he may perform many works from the sole motive of pleasing God. Charity, unlike natural virtues, is not acquired through frequent repetition of the same acts, but is infused with sanctifying grace; hence it is sometimes used to signify this grace. It is a Divine name: God is charity (1 John 4:16). Almsgiving is called charity because it is one of its principal works. Today, outside of the Catholic Church, charity signifies any good turn done to the needy, regardless of the motive that prompted it.