Sharing of Wealth. Almsgiving.

What is bounty without a beggar? Generosity without a guest?
Be beggar and guest; for beauty is seeking a mirror,
water crying for a thirsty man.

Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.94.

Charity given to a worthy person, in the proper place and time and as a matter of duty, without consideration of the benefit one might derive for oneself, is said to be in the mode of goodness. But charity performed with the expectation of some return, with a desire for fruitive results or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. Charity given in an unpurified place, at an unpurified time, to unsuitable persons, without proper attention and without respect is said to be in the mode of darkness. Gita 17:20-22

Whatever alms you give shall rebound to your own advantage, provided that you give them for the love of God. And whatever alms you give shall be paid back to you in full: you shall not be wronged. Medinan Sura 2, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.286.

Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do (...) But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4

And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; they give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through hands of such as these God speaks and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.20.

All you have shall some day be given; therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.21.

Genuine goodness is a matter of habitually acting and responding appropriately in each situation, as it arises, moved always by the desire to please God. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.64.

For in real charity one loves God for Himself alone above every created thing and he loves his fellow man, because it is God's law. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.80.

What is this (contemplative prayer) in relation to action? Simply this. He (and she) who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening of his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his egocentric ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. Thomas Merton, The Climate of Monastic Prayer.

We always want to possess. That is why it is so hard to let go (...). But charity is non-possessive. It gives all back to God as fast as it comes. It keeps nothing for itself. Thomas Keating, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.30.

A man must give others what they beg of him according to his ability. If a thing requested for is not given he will be indebted to that extent even in his next birth. Sivapurana, Vidyesvarasamhita, 13:78.

A man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people, in the purity of a selfless love. Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation. P. 64. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

(…) Take the time to meet among yourselves for family prayer and implore the grace of God. Remember your deceased. Give them joy with the celebration of the Holy Mass. Do not look with scorn on those who beg you for a piece of bread. Do not turn them away from your full tables. Help them and God will also help you. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, January 27, 1987. Words from Heaven, P.180.

(…) Each one shall be responsible according to his own ability. Dear children, I am calling you to give the gifts to others with love, and not to keep them for yourselves. (…). Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 8, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.231.

Dear children, today I invite you to do works of mercy with love and out of love for me and for your and my brothers and sisters. All that you do for others, do it with great joy and humility towards God. I am with you and day after day I offer your sacrifices and prayers to God for the salvation of the world. (…). Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 25, 1990. Words from Heaven, P.260.

(…) Today I invite you in a special way to open yourselves to God the Creator and to become active. (…) see at this time who needs your spiritual and material help. (…). Our Lady of Medjugorie, February 25, 1997. Words from Heaven, supplement.

The secret of our fulfillment, then, is charity.  We bring to the Psalms the raw material of our own poor, isolated persons, with our own individual conflicts and sufferings and trials.  We throw them all into the fire of Christ's Love - or, if you prefer it, into the furnace of the Holy Spirit. In those flames, we are purified of everything that isolates us, everything that is merely private, merely our own, and we are melted down to become a "new creature" with a new identity, a higher "personality."  The discovery of our true selves, our own inviolable and individual beings united without confusion in this One Mystical Person, united to one another in the flame of Christ's infinite and selfless ecstasy of Love for His Father and for us, will constitute one of the purest perfections of our joy in heaven. Merton, Thomas. Bread In The Wilderness. PP. 118. 119. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn  <>

Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather, give it to someone whom you will not get it back." Gospel of Thomas, 59.

Your wealth and your children are but a temptation. God's reward is great. Therefore fear God with all your hearts, and be attentive, obedient and charitable. That will be best for you. Those that preserve themselves from their own greed will surely prosper. (...) If the debtor be in straits, grant him a delay until he can discharge his debt; but if you waive the sum as alms it will be better for you, if you but knew it. Quran, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.301.

God does not love the arrogant and boastful men, (...) who conceal the riches which God of His bounty has bestowed upon them (...) and who spend their wealth for the sake of ostentation (...). The righteous (...) give sustenance to the poor man, the orphan, and the captive, saying: "We feed you for God's sake only; we seek of you neither recompense nor thanks." Quran, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.302.

Let these people be your God - think of them, work for them, pray for them incessantly - the Lord will show youthe way. Him I call a mahatma, a noble soul, whose heart bleeds for the poor; (...). Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.75.

For centuries people have been taught theories of degradation. They have been told that they are nothing. The masses have been told all over the world that they are not human beings. They have been so frightened for centuries that they have nearly become animals. Never they were allowed to hear of the Atman. Let them hear of the Atman - that even the lowest of the low have the Atman within, who never dies and never is born - Him who the sword cannot pierce, nor the fire burn, nor the air dry, immortal, without beginning or end, the all-pure, omnipotent, and omnipresent Atman. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.119.

It is our privilege to be allowed to be charitable, for only so can we grow. The poor man suffers that we may be helped. Let the giver kneel down and give thanks; let the receiver stand up and permit. (...) Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.198.

Only in charity is love perfectly spontaneous, and free from determination or necessity. Thomas Merton, Diaries, Vol.I, P.352.

Poverty will never be abolished until the whole world becomes voluntarily poor. Thomas Merton, Diaries, Vol.I, P.390.

It suits the generous man to give money,
but truly the generosity of the lover
is to surrender his soul.
If you give bread for God's sake,
you will be given bread in return;
if you give your life for God's sake,
you will be given Life in return.

Rumi, Mathnawi I, 2235-2236, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.141.

Income multiplies from giving and spending-
so that Muhammad, the king of prosperity, has said,
"O possessors of wealth, generosity is a gainful trade."
Riches were never lessened by sharing:
in truth, acts of charity increase one's wealth.

Rumi, Mathnawi VI, 3570, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.175.

If anyone asks, give to him, and if anyone wants to borrow from you, do not turn away from him. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.60.

There are three indications of real generosity: to remain steadfast without resisting, to praise without the emotion of generosity, and to give before being asked. Ascribed to Sufi Master Maaruf Karkhi (died 815 C.E.). Submitted by John Savlove.

God came to my house and asked for charity. And I fell on my knees and cried, “Beloved, what may I give?” “Just love,’ He said. “Just love.” St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.33.

Last modified: 2008/10/29

See the related subjects: Compassion, Human Love, Service