Charity is never lost; it may meet with ingratitude . . . yet it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver. (Conyers Middleton, 18th century English clergyman)

Middleton has added an important twist to the essential quality of charity, or love. We most often think of charity as helping others and, in turn, receiving the thanks of the recipient of our love. But when that isn’t the case, there is still great benefit to our acts of charity because they do something good in us.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)