Lack of charity dulls the intelligence so that it cannot know God and fails to understand the dignity of man. Love sharpens and focuses all our powers. Only charity - love of God and of our neighbor for God's sake - prepares and disposes us to understand God and all that refers to him, so far as is possible for a finite creature. He who does not love does not know God, Saint John teaches, for God is love. The virtue of hope also becomes sterile without charity, for it is impossible to attain what one does not love? All our works are in vain without charity, even the most skillfully or energetically executed ones and those that demand sacrifice. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. There is no substitute for charity.
Today, in our prayer, we could ask ourselves how we live this virtue each day. Do we perform little acts of service for the people around us? Do we try to be pleasant? Do we say we are sorry when we hurt people? Do we spread peace and joy around us? Do we help others on their way towards God, or are we, on the contrary, indifferent to them? Do we practice the works of mercy by visiting the poor and the sick, so as to live Christian solidarity with those who suffer? Do we care for the needs of the elderly and are we concerned about people who find themselves on the margin of society? In a word is our normal relationship with God shown in deeds of understanding and in service to the people who are in daily contact with us?
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 p.6