Charity – Eighteenth Day of November
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
Oh, how great was the love Jesus Christ had for the poor! He chose the state of poverty, He is the Father of the poor, He considers as done for Himself what is done for them. It is proper, then, to love the poor with a special love, seeing in them the person of Jesus Christ, and doing all for them as if done for Him. — St. Vincent de Paul.
This saint, of whom it might be said that he carried the poor in his heart, upon hearing the news of a threatened famine, sighed deeply, saying: “Whenever I think of this I am afflicted; it is not for our society, but for the poor. We can go out of our house and ask for bread; if they do not give it to us we can work in the parishes; but the poor — what will they do? Where will they go?”
- Denysiot, a worthy priest of the diocese of Autun, upon the occasion of a famine deprived himself of all but the barest necessaries in order to help the poor of his parish. His one meal in the day consisted of some vegetables, cooked in salt and water, and rye bread. He was the father of the indigent. Whenever he spoke of love for the poor, his words were so efficacious that they opened the hearts and purses of the people. His charity was so ingenious that he had in his house a kind of store where he kept clothes for men, women, and children, that he might clothe them, and also give them bread, when out of work. His delight was to visit the prisons, to comfort those imprisoned there, to console the poor in the hospitals, and give them all the spiritual and corporal succor the great charity of his heart felt for them. He desired to spend his life with them.
O my Saviour, Who wouldst be poor, and Who lovest the poor so much that Thou wilt reward whatever is done for them as if done for Thee, give me a great love for the poor, and grant that it be not a love without deeds.