The cover of the January 2019 issue of "Traces."

In the January 2019 Issue of "Traces"

A short overview of the January 2019 issue of Traces, "The Charity that Builds."
Letizia Mariani

Charity is the strongest mark of Christianity in history … attracting those who no longer expect anything from a faith reduced to doctrine and morality,” reads the editorial of this month’s issue of Traces. The issue, in fact, revolves around charity at work in different ways in people’s lives, but most specifically in the context of charitable work.

Front and center in the issue is the Food Drive in Italy, a widespread initiative of charitable work consisting of the collection of food for the poor. Among touching stories from the Drive, we find Roberto who is able to make the crucial claim that, “Volunteer work and charitable work are not the same thing. … In charity you bring the beauty and good that have happened to you.”

Echoing this intuition, in the following article Fr. Julián Carrón defines charity as that which “makes it possible for a person to recognize his need for Jesus,” adding that “we cannot understand [School of Community] without [charitable work].”

In addition, Davide Prosperi finally asserts in a separate article dedicated to politics that in a time of international political unrest, acts of true charity express clear cultural and political judgements: “They represent a concrete proposal of an ideal, a hypothesis of response to certain needs.”

The January 2019 Traces aims to sharpen our understanding of charity not as an empathetic and generous feeling or a do-gooder attitude, but as a judgement that exposes and communicates our awareness of Christ in the present. With a clearer framework for charity, charitable work turns into much more than a nice volunteering effort: it becomes necessary for the Christian life.