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BD 0985 28.6.1939
Works of charity ....
To take care of the general welfare, should be left to those who have been assigned a too narrow sphere of action for the duration of life on earth. The Lord has wisely given everyone the task they are capable of fulfilling. And everyone has the possibility to be active for all good. One has more, the other less opportunity to take the burdens of the neighbor on his shoulders .... and the more he does this, the greater blessing he can be sure of himself and the more the power of love will be strengthened in him and the will to love will be aroused.
Only in service will man be able to reach the heights .... distribute in love to the neighbor what he himself has at his disposal, and work for the peoples' need, so that it may be alleviated and remedied .... but always driven by love for his fellow man .... And this will result in rich blessings and man himself will never need to live in want if he always gives from what he has .... He should also never anxiously consider whether the gifts might diminish his possessions .... whoever gives much, will receive far more, for the Lord likewise distributes His gifts undiminished from the one who, out of love for Him, strives to alleviate the need of his fellow man. For "whatever you do to the least of My brothers, you have done to Me."
And now consider how much nobler the man acts who shares his possessions with the poor, than the man who lives in well-ordered circumstances but demands all the gifts he wants to distribute from the general public. A well-organized charity is like a weak oil lamp .... it does not fulfill the purpose .... It shines only insignificantly and spreads no light .... And so such works of charity, though lacking in love, will have no redeeming effect whatsoever .... It is true that gifts are offered to the people, but the heart does not speak with .... The giver does not sacrifice, but gives his tribute forcedly, and so the power of love is also not transmitted to the receiver. It is, as it were, taking from one what is given to the other. An action is mechanized and made into thoughtless performance of duty, which should have been born in the love of the heart and awakened love ....
And these works are dead works before God .... He cannot look at what is born under compulsion, can never be an active work of love. It is the most glorious thing in life to share one's goods with the one who is also a creature of God .... to share every gift which the Father in heaven has given to man in His love .... to share of one's own free will, because the heart drives man to it. But worthless is what is made the task of man on earth. Man fulfills this task, but only because he has to, but not of his own accord, and such works of charity cannot be evaluated by the heavenly Father, Who only looks at the heart and the degree of love in which the gifts are offered ....
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