∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼
If you give alms to the poor, know that, insofar as you do good to your neighbour, you do it, and more, to yourself. St Anthony says: ‘Life and death come to us through our neighbour’, and St Peter Damascene writes: ‘As the poor are bounden to thank God and love the rich, who do good to them, so still more must the rich thank God and love the poor, because they are saved, in the providence of God, both now and in the world to come, by their alms. For, without the poor, not only do they not receive the salvation of their souls, but are unable to flee the temptations of their riches.’ Alms that are given from vanity, or with scorn, are worthless.
In former days, the rich took gold to the hermits and begged them to accept it. It rarely happened that the hermits received alms gladly, and, when they received it, they did so out of compassion for the rich. The poorest of men received alms out of compassion!
– St Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue from Ochrid