The Delights of Charity are according to the Greatness and Importance of the Use performed

The Delights of Charity are according to the Greatness and Importance of the Use performed

As regards use, they who are in charity, that is in love towards the neighbour,—which imparts a living delight to their pleasure,—look for the fruition of no pleasure but in the performance of uses; for charity is nothing unless it manifests itself in works of charity, since it consists in exercise or use. He who loves his neighbour as himself never perceives the delight of charity except in its exercise; a life of charity therefore is a life of uses. Such is the life of the universal heaven; for the Lord’s kingdom, being a kingdom of mutual love, is a kingdom of uses. Therefore every pleasure derived from charity receives its delight from use, and the more exalted the use the greater the delight; hence the angels receive happiness from the Lord according to the essence and quality of the use which they perform. And so it is with every pleasure; the more distinguished its use the greater is its delight. Thus, for example only, conjugial love, because from thence is the seminary of human society and from this is formed the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, which is the greatest of all uses, is therefore attended with so great delight that, as has been said, it is heavenly happiness. So in respect to other pleasures, but with a difference according to the excellence of uses,—which are so numerous that they can scarcely be divided into genera and species; all of which regard the Lord’s kingdom, or the Lord, some more nearly and directly, others more remotely and indirectly. Hence it may be seen that all pleasures are allowed to man for the sake of use only; and that by virtue of their use, with a difference according to its degree, they participate in and live from heavenly felicity. (AC n. 997)

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