Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on LOVE

Thought for the Day – 13 August – Almsgiving

Thought for the Day – 13 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Almsgiving

almsgiving bacci 13 aug 2020

“The view has been expressed, that almsgiving is useless and degrading.
It is useless, it has been said because, the implementation of social justice should be sufficient to provide for the needs of everybody and, it is degrading, it has been held because, it places the poor man in a position of inferiority to the rich man and makes him beg for that which is really his right.

This is a false line of reasoning.
Social justice can and should, do a great deal to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth among men.
But social justice cannot do everything.

Until the end of the world, the weak will always succumb in the battle of life, before the energy and enterprise of the strong.
There will always be unfortunates who, by reason of some tragic accident, are unable to fend for themselves.
No matter what form it takes, the State will not be able to provide fully for the disabled and infirm.

There will always be plenty of scope for Christian charity, which does not proceed with the measured stride of justice but with the swift wings of the love of God.
It seeks out sorrows which need to be assuaged and wants, which need to be relieved.
There will always be suffering and want upon earth.
“The poor you have always with you,” (Mt 26:11) Jesus has told us.

It cannot be said that almsgiving is degrading because it makes the receiver inferior to the giver.
This may be so, if alms are given from motives of mere philanthropy.
But when almsgiving is accompanied by charity and understanding and the donor sees, in the poor man, the person of Jesus Christ, there is no difference of status between the two individuals.
They are brothers who wish to love and help one another …
In this case, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Christian almsgiving is the fulfilment of an obligation and is a source of merit for the giver.
As for the receiver, not only are his wants relieved but, he is the means by which his wealthier brother can acquire merit and fulfil his obligations.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on LOVE

Lenten Thoughts – St Leo the Great – Purification of spirit through fasting and almsgiving

Lenten Thoughts – 7 March – Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Purification of spirit through fasting and almsgiving

Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermo 6 de Quadragesima

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful, in the worship of God.   The heavens, the sea and all that is in them, bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator and the marvellous beauty of the elements, as they obey Him, demands from the intelligent creation, a fitting expression of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season marked out in a special way, by the mystery of our redemption and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgentlyM to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit.

The special note of the paschal feast is this – the whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins.   It rejoices in the forgiveness, not only of those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those, who are already numbered among God’s adopted children.

Initially, men are made new by the rebirth of baptism.   Yet, there still is required a daily renewal to repair the shortcomings of our mortal nature and whatever degree of progress has been made, there is no-one, who should not be more advanced.   All, must, therefore, strive to ensure that on the day of redemption, no-one may be found in the sins of his former life.

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times, should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles, may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all, by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of almsgiving.   This embraces under the single name of mercy, many excellent works of devotion, so that the good intentions of all the faithful, may be of equal value, even where their means are not.   The love that we owe both God and man, is always free from any obstacle, that would prevent us from having a good intention.  The angels sang – Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.   The person who shows love and compassion to those in any kind of affliction, is blessed, not only with the virtue of good will but also, with the gift of peace.

The works of mercy are innumerable.   Their very variety, brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving, not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor, are able to play their part.   Those who are unequal in their capacity to give, can be equal, in the love within their hearts.the works of mercy are innumerable - st pope leo the great - thurs after ash wed 7 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Fifth Week – Monday 3 April 2017

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Fifth Week – Monday 3 April 2017

ALMSGIVING

Excerpt from a Homily of St John Chrysostum Doctor and Father of the Church (347-407

Nay, if you desire to honour the sacrifice, offer your soul, for which also it was slain; cause that to become golden;  but if that remain worse than lead or potter’s clay, while the vessel is of gold, what is the profit?

Let not this therefore be our aim, to offer golden vessels only but to do so from honest earnings likewise.   For these are of the sort that is more precious even than gold, these that are without injuriousness.   For the church is not a gold foundry nor a workshop for silver but an assembly of angels.   Wherefore it is souls which we require, since in fact God accepts these for the souls’ sake.

That table at that time was not of silver nor that cup of gold, out of which Christ gave His disciples His own blood; but precious was everything there….

Would you do honour to Christ’s body? Neglect Him not when naked; do not while here you honour Him with silken garments, neglect Him perishing without of cold and nakedness.   For He that said, This is my body, and by His word confirmed the fact, This same said, You saw me an hungered, and fed me not; and, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. Matthew 25:42, 45   For this indeed needs not coverings, but a pure soul; but that requires much attention.

Let us learn therefore to be strict in life and to honour Christ as He Himself desires.   For to Him who is honoured that honour is most pleasing, which it is His own will to have, not that which we account best.   Since Peter too thought to honour Him by forbidding Him to wash his feet but his doing so was not an honour, but the contrary.

Even so do thou honour Him with this honour, which He ordained, spending your wealth on poor people.   Since God has no need at all of golden vessels but of golden souls.

And these things I say, not forbidding such offerings to be provided;  but requiring you, together with them and before them, to give alms………..

For what is the profit, when His table indeed is full of golden cups but He perishes with hunger?   First fill Him, being an hungered and then abundantly deck out His table also. Do you make Him a cup of gold, while you give Him not a cup of cold water?   And what is the profit?   Do you furnish His table with cloths bespangled with gold, while to Himself you afford not even the necessary covering?   And what good comes of it?   For tell me, should you see one at a loss for necessary food and omit appeasing his hunger, while you first overlaid his table with silver;  would He indeed thank you and not rather be indignant?   What, again, if seeing one wrapped in rags and stiff with cold, you should neglect giving him a garment and build golden columns, saying, thou were doing it to His honour, would He not say that thou were mocking and account it an insult and that the most extreme?

Let this then be your thought with regard to Christ also, when He is going about a wanderer and a stranger, needing a roof to cover Him;   and thou, neglecting to receive Him, deckest out a pavement, and walls, and capitals of columns and hangest up silver chains by means of lamps but Himself bound in prison you will not even look upon.

ALMSGIVING-STJOHNCHRYSOSTUM LENT MON 3 APRIL

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

LENTEN REFLECTION – The First Week of Lent – 2 MARCH

day-2-week-one-2-march-2017

LENTEN REFLECTION – 2 MARCH

Purification of Spirit through fasting and almsgiving

by St Pope Leo the Great (died 461 AD) Doctor of the Church

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God.    The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the omnipotence of their Creator and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit.

The special note of the paschal feast is this:  the whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins.    It rejoices in the forgiveness not only of those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children.

Initially, men are made new by the rebirth of baptism.    Yet there is still required a daily renewal to repair the shortcomings of our mortal nature and whatever degree of progress has been made there is no one who should not be more advanced.    All must therefore strive to ensure that on the day of redemption no one may be found in the sins of his former life.

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of almsgiving.    This embraces under the single name of mercy many excellent works of devotion, so that the good intentions of the faithful may be of equal value, even where their means are not.    The love that we owe both God and man is always free from any obstacle that would prevent us from having a good intention.   The angels sang: Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.   The person who shows love and compassion to those in any kind of affliction is blessed, not only with the virtue of good will but also with the gift of peace.

The works of mercy are innumerable.   Their very variety brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor are able to play their part.    Those who are unequal in their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their hearts.

there-is-no-more-profitable-practice-stpopeleothegreat