On Deeds Inspired by Love
No motive, even that of affection for anyone, can justify the doing of evil. But to help someone in need, a good work may sometimes be left, or a better undertaken in its place. For in so doing, the good work is not lost, but changed for what is better. Without love, the outward work is of no value; but whatever is done out of love, be it never so little, is wholly fruitful. For God regards the greatness of the love that prompts a man, rather than the greatness of his achievement.
Whoever loves much, does much. Whoever does a thing well, does much. And he does well, who serves the community before his own interests. Often an apparently loving action really springs from worldly motives; for natural inclination, self-will, hope of reward, and our own self-interest will seldom be entirely absent.
Whoever is moved by true and perfect love is never self-seeking, but desires only that God's glory may be served in all things. He envies none, for he seeks no pleasure for himself, nor does he act for self-gratification, but desires above all good things to merit the blessing of God. All good he ascribes not to men, but to God, from whom all things proceed as from their source, and in whom all the Saints enjoy perfection and peace. Oh, if only a man had a spark of true love in his heart, he would know for certain that all earthly things are full of vanity.
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