He would not want it at any price

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][The Christian] will more willingly walk two miles with someone who would force him to walk one than seek justice for himself or even dream of causing harm to one who had hurt him. The tranquility of his heart is more dear to him than the possession of anything that injustice could take away, and if a breach of charity were required to recover something that had been taken away from him, he would not want it at any price.

~ Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Meditations for Lent

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Nothing about being deserving at all…

Note the shocking lack of qualifiers Jesus puts on that. Nothing about being deserving at all. Nothing about the hope and promise that the poor will take the charity, “make something of themselves” and then pay back. Indeed, he pronounces a special blessing on generosity and love to people who will not and cannot reciprocate.

~ Mark Shea, “Against Punishing the Poor” via NCRegister.com

He wanted to think of hardly anything else

Francis’ highest intention, his chief desire, his uppermost purpose was to observe the holy Gospel in all things and through all things and, with perfect vigilance, with all zeal, with all the longing of his mind and all the fervor of his heart, “to follow the teaching and the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He would recall Christ’s words through persistent meditation and bring to mind His deeds through the most penetrating consideration. The humility of the Incarnation and the charity of the Passion occupied his memory particularly, to the extent that he wanted to think of hardly anything else.

~ Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis

It destroys hatred and preserves love

Generosity is one of the attributes of God, Who causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall upon all, whether just or unjust, and ministers to all most lovingly the necessaries of life. Generosity is the sister of Charity; it destroys hatred and preserves love.

~St. Francis of Assisi

The acts of charity that you do not perform

It’s not easy to determine the best ways to act with kindness and mercy. Of course St. Basil the Great, of the fourth century, saw less grey area. He put it quite simply: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

~ Kerry Weber, Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job

To know in order to be of service

For there are some who long to know for the sole purpose of knowing, and that is shameful curiosity; others who long to know in order to become known, and that is shameful vanity. To such as these we may apply the words of the Satirist: “Your knowledge counts for nothing unless your friends know you have it.” There are others still who long for knowledge in order to sell its fruits for money or honors, and this is shameful profiteering; others again who long to know in order to be of service, and this is charity. Finally there are those who long to know in order to benefit themselves, and this is prudence.

~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 36 on The Song of Songs: The acquiring of knowledge

Rooted in our secularity

The identity of the Secular Franciscan is rooted in our secularity. St. Francis brought the practice of gospel life out of the monasteries into the world of the family and society. This was, indeed, very good. Deeply spiritual and generous men and women, who could not abandon family responsibilities, now had a way to follow the Lord in the manner of St. Francis.

The Rule identifies the world as the place where the brothers and the sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity, in [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][our] own secular state. The world is our home and our mission field, and we are stewards of its resources and responsible for its care.

~ Anne Mulqueen, SFO, “Our Identity as a Secular Franciscan” (Chapter 8 of the FUN Manual)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Addicted to indifference

We can become addicted to indifference, in denial by texting ten dollars to a charity now and again, when there is a disaster-relief concert on the air. The pope has come to the Americas to wake us up. This is not the life of a Christian. This is not the way of Christ.

~ Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Flesh of Christ