The greatest of the Christian virtues, charity is love in its purest form embodying generosity and self-sacrifice. This form of love embodies and reflects the nature of God and is the ultimate perfection of the human spirit. Charity is the practice of living the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed.
Relying on God, hope keeps us searching for true happiness, sustains us in hard times and keeps us from being discouraged. To demonstrate hope is to share in God's desires for us all; to become fully human and fully alive.
Acceptance is embodied in the grateful embrace of all God's gifts and invitations to us. It is an expression of love and ultimately a form of patience with God, self and others. Mary is a model of acceptance for all the faithful in her invitation to be the Mother of God.
The giving and receiving that which is essential for growth into wholeness. While our nurturing acts are essential for others to grow, our actions develop our own empathy, judgement, restraint and respect. In helping the other to grow, we grow ourselves.
A quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards; it is a standard all should aim for. The ancient Greek philosophers described excellence as living up to one's potential. If we are what we repeatedly do then excellence is not an act but a habit.
The early Christians promoted 'agape' as an essential virtue; to love God, self and neighbour. It is love then that binds and distinguishes an authentic Christian community. It is the embodiment of the new and greatest commandment Jesus proclaimed - "love one another, as I have loved you."