-- G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant
- - - - - - - - - -There is no more profitable practice as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of almsgiving. This embraces under the single name of mercy many excellent works of devotion, so that the good intentions of all believers may be of equal value even when their means are not. Nothing can ever so obstruct the love we owe both God and other people as to prevent our having a good intention. The angels sang: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. The person who shows love and compassion to those in any kind of affliction is blessed not only with the virtue of charity but also with the gift of peace.
The works of mercy are innumerable. Their very variety brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor are able to play their part. Those who are unequal in their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their hearts.
-- Leo the Great, Sermo 6 de Quadragesima 2: PL 54, 287.