Meditiation on giving

St. Ambrose, painting by Maria Brusco; Oratory...Image via Wikipedia
I've blogged before about Catholic Social Teaching and now I've come across an excellent article from Miki Tracy from the Gilbert House Catholic Worker Community on giving and obedience which can be found on the Distributist Review.

In it Miki quotes a number of Church Fathers, bible verses, scripture and other Christians on the theme of giving to the poor. I've not noticed a lot of these before but they do really grab your attention when grouped together so I'm going to thieve them and post them here! They really do make an excellent base for some scriptural meditation.

"The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love." - Dorothy Day

"As you do to the least of these My brethren, so you do it unto Me." - Matthew 25:40

"Words express, but examples persuade." - Pope Benedict XVI

"It is the crushed heart which is the soft heart, the tender heart. - an OCD Sister to Dorothy Day

"Christian love is not philanthropy." - Father Stanley Jaki

"You never give to the poor what is yours; you merely return to them what belongs to them. For what you have appropriated [for yourself] was given for the common use of everybody. The land was given [by GOD] for everybody, not just the rich." - St. Ambrose of Milan

"The bread that is in your box belongs to the hungry; the coat in your closet belongs to the naked; the shoes you do not wear belong to the barefoot; the money in your vault belongs to the destitute." - St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, c. A.D. 370

"Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to the one who has nothing. Neither is it small to GOD, if we have given what we could." - St Gregory Naziansen, Bishop of Constantinople, late fourth century

"Nothing is your own. You are a slave and what is yours belongs to the Lord. For a slave has no property that is truly his own; naked you were brought into this life." - Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, from "The Unjust Steward" c. A.D. 400

"It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor, but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice." - G.K. Chesterton, in Heretics

"Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judging righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy." - Proverbs 31:6-9

"Make yourself beloved in the congregation; bow your head low to the great man. Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently. Deliver him who is wronged from the hand of the wrongdoer; do not be fainthearted in judging a case. Be like a father to the orphans…you will then be like a son of the Most High, and He will love you more than does your own mother." - Sirach 4:7-10

"You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind….[and] you shall love your neighbor as yourself." -Matthew 22:37-40

"Stretch forth your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead. Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not shrink from visiting the sick man, because of such deeds you will be loved. In all that you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." - Sirach 7:32-36
A big thank you to Miki for showing me such inspiring scripture and life.