Our Lord, speaking to St. Catherine of Sienna, comments on the unity of all virtues in the “greatest of these”—charity:
Since love of neighbor has its source in me, the more the soul loves me, the more she loves her neighbors.
Thus it will be evident that you have me within your soul by grace, when with tender loving desire you are looking out for my honor and the salvation of your neighbors by bearing fruit for them in many holy prayers.
Why do I give this person one virtue and that person another, rather than giving them all to one person?
It is true that all the virtues are bound together, and it is impossible to have one without having them all. But I give them in different ways, so that one virtue might be, as it were, the source of all the others.
I have distributed all [gifts] in such a way that no one has all of them.
Thus have I given you reason—necessity, in fact—to practice mutual charity. I wanted to make you dependent on one another so that each of you would be my minister, dispensing the graces and gifts you have received from me.
All I want is love. In loving me, you will realize love for your neighbors, and if you love your neighbors, you have kept the law.
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