Give Before Measuring [Awakening Faith]
Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? (John 6:9)
If the faithful find some store of love’s fruit in their hearts, they must not doubt God’s presence within them. If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.
Any time is the right time for works of charity, but these days of Lent provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek above all to win this grace, for charity contains all other virtues and covers a multitude of sins.
As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the blood of Jesus Christ did away with our sins, let us first of all prepare the sacrificial offerings of acts of mercy. In mercy we give to those who have sinned against us what God has already given to us in his goodness. Let us extend a more open-handed generosity to the poor and afflicted, so that God may be thanked through many voices, and those in need may be supported by our fasting. No act of devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than that which is lavished on his poor.
Our charity displays his own fatherly care. In these acts of giving do not fear a lack of means. There is always something to give where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. Christ’s hand is present, which multiplies the bread by breaking it and increases it by giving it away.
Givers of alms should be free from anxiety and full of joy. Their gain will be greatest when they keep back least for themselves.
Leo the Great
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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