Friday, May 22, 2015


     Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you...You received without pay, give without pay."  (Matthew)
     To act out of charity then is to come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily needs.  Works of charity or mercy include forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.    The corporal works of mercy or charity include: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned,   
      God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them.  It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones.  Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working, so as to "be able to give to those in need."  Wow, that's a really strong statement (Catechism #2443); a reason for working is to be able to give money away!  We are responsible for what we do with our money, or you could say we are stewards of our money.  But what if we don't know anyone who needs housing, or who is hungry?  One of the ways to help is to give to reputable organizations that do know who is in need.  Another way is to give to Church collections for various needs, or keep the food pantry full, or put money in the poor box.
     St. John Chrysostom maintains, "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life.  The good we possess are not ours, but theirs."  Heady words.  How do we choose what to keep and what to give?  The question seems to be what do we need?  Anything more than a need is to be given away, but it must be given generously, with a loving heart, or it does no good.
      I am sure you have heard that everything we have is a gift from God.  If we say we worked hard for what we have, consider where our talent came from, and the gift it is to have a job when so many in the world don't.  If we only consider what we do have then we will realize that the poorest of us is richer than most of the world.  To thank God for his many gifts, we give our gifts.

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