In Christian theology charity is the greatest of the three theological virtues. Thomas Aquinas does not simply equate charity to « love », which he holds as a passion, not a virtue; rather, translators use the word « friendship ».
Charity is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Confusion can arise from the multiple meanings of the English word « love ». The love that is caritas.
The legal definition of charitable organization (and of charity) varies according to the country and in some instances the region of the country in which the charitable organization operates. The regulation, tax treatment, etc.