St. Theophan the Recluse on alms

St Theophan the RecluseHe that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. With this all uncertainties concerning the giving of alms are resolved. Good intentions for the poor are almost always if not suppressed, then significantly diminished by the questions, “Who is begging,” and, “Where are the alms going?” The Lord says to those who ask these questions: Your reward is determined according to how you receive the beggar and help him. Do not look at the one who is asking, but at your thoughts. The value of your deed will be commensurate to your thoughts. The right thoughts to have about a poor person can be defined this way: He who has mercy on the poor is lending to God; or Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Mt. 25:40). Thus, receive everyone in need as you would the Lord, do what you can for Him with the thought that you are doing it for God, and you will receive the reward not only of a prophet and a righteous man, but of the Lord.

About mychristmycare

Guiding the Stewardship Committee, as part of the National Standing Committees of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States
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