Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI. Visit rcsocialjusticett.org for our columns, media releases and more.
On Wednesday September 5, the world will observe the International Day of Charity. The UN states: “Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection. It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports, and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalised and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.”
In many ways we in T&T are a charitable people. We thank God for the hundreds of NGOs, CBOs, FBOs that are engaged in charitable work. Without their invaluable contribution, the plight of many of our citizens and those we support abroad would be even more dire. While we reflect on the importance of the virtue of charity, let’s remember the words of St Augustine: “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld”. Pope Pius XI’s words are also pertinent: “Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into account … Let no one attempt with small gifts of charity to exempt himself from the great duties imposed by justice.”