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“Perhaps a great surprise in Christ’s parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) is that God’s judgment of us is not based on the sins which we have committed but rather is based on the charity we gave or failed to give. The Christian spirituality which became so focused on sin and sinners has forgotten this lesson from our Lord Jesus. It has focused on the wickedness of sinners, but Christ in this parable says God’s judgment of us is to be based on our willingness to love others, to have compassion for others, to show mercy to others, and to give in charity. Pointing an accusing finger at others because of their sins is us focusing on the wrong thing.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit.” (St. Basil the Great)

“Spontaneity in giving is the product of manipulation. Its charitable mood is temporary…charitable giving is not merely an emotion. If that were the case, then the feelings stirred up by images of the needy would always conflict with our thoughts. Our unreformed and natural inclination to greediness, possessiveness, and own financial security would usually prevail over the appeals of the destitute. Our mind would find sufficient reason to close the doors of mercy to those who plea for it. But charity should involve our whole self. Yes, emotions may motivate it. But our minds must guide it. And our rational understandings of mercy and faithfulness should inform it. Together, feelings and thoughts should devise deliberate, effective and long-term plans to be merciful to those in need. By doing so, we will be faithful to the God who has mercy on us.” (Fr. Basil)

“God loves the charitable who give willingly, with a cheerful countenance, and also of their own volition. Alms-giving that is begrudged or enforced is unacceptable and execrable. The root of charity lies in the heart. It begins in the heart and ends in our hand. Charity warms when there’s the flame of love. Alms-giving without love is cold and desultory. It’s a dead body without light or sun. It’s a flower without beauty or scent. When you give without love, you insult. Because where’s the value in the most wonderful and expensive gift if it’s offered without a smile?” (Protopresbyter Antonios Christou)

“True love does not belong to the realm of intangible feelings; caring is visible. Love is tangibly practiced as a help to other Christians in their struggles (3 John 1:8). Love enables the faithful to go “forth for His Name’s sake” (vs. 7). We accept rebuff in this world, and still freely return love to those who afflict us “for the Lord’s sake.” (Dynamis 3/11/2024)

“ ‘Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 6:1). God is not impressed with what others think of us, nor by what we think of ourselves. God will reward good deeds when they are based on pure motives of the heart…The standard of judgment is uncalculated mercy toward others. The works produced by faith are emphasized, for saving faith always produces righteous works. What we do reflects our true inner state.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:3-4, 25:31-46) “The lamps of the foolish virgins go out [Matthew 25:1-14], because their work, which were seen so clearly by men, wane and vanished at the coming of the Judge [God]. They find recompense from God, because they have received from men the praises which they loved.” (Saint Gregory the Great) “Chrysostom, in a series of sermons on repentance and almsgiving, points his listeners down the many roads to repentance. A sinner may confess, mourn the sin, practice humility, pray, and give alms, but the greatest of these roads is clearly almsgiving. Almsgiving is so great a virtue that it surpasses virginity! The five virgins who neglected to fill their lamps with oil, which John interprets as their desire for money over the poor, fail to enter the wedding banquet.” (Gus George Christo)

“We are called to caring; we are not to limit ourselves just to the financial giving of philanthropies, charitable donations, and other altruism. We are to extend charity into all our relationships and into every encounter with others.” (Dynamis 9/22/2012)

“Saint Paul reminds us…that we are called to caring. Nor do we limit our caring to financial giving through philanthropies, charitable donations, and other sorts of altruism. We extend our charity to our every relationship and every encounter with others. Note that the apostle does not link his counsel on pursuing “the other’s well-being” to the virtue of almsgiving. Instead, he speaks of kindness in our day-to-day contacts shopping at the market, having dinner with friends, or discussing religious practices.” (OCPM 9/19/2015)

“Many people associate charity with the false idea that leading a saintly life requires certain types of sacrifice and giving in order to care for others, or perhaps even a complete alteration of one’s manner of life…Not at all. It is necessary only to do...those things which present themselves to everyone in the circumstances of life… It is for the good of our spouse, our children, our neighbors, the checker at the market, or the receptionist at a front desk that we are to extend care; it is in many, little contacts.” (Dynamis 9/22/2012)

“The Church Fathers are very sensitive to the ways in which good deeds undertaken for the Lord can be manipulated by the demons of ambition. Good works initially carried out for worthy, God-pleasing motives may be corrupted by our insidious conceit and pride. Hence, the inner work required to control and cleanse our hearts actually bears more fruit, in the long run, than the controls we place on our outward behaviors.” (OCPM 10/9/2015)

"The principle of Christian charity is not the more we have, the more we give; but rather, the less we need, the more we give." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“In serving others, we can sometimes find ourselves displacing God and making charity a form of self-worship. This in no way suggests that what we do “for the least of these” is not a godly direction to take, for we are directed by Christ Himself to be in service to others. However, we want to make sure our charity is based on love of God and neighbor, and not on love of self.” (Abbott Tryphon)

“We can give money, even work with and support charities with our time and effort in addition to money, but yet potentially fall into self-deception…Christianity as taught by Christ, which certainly has as one of its pillars of faith charity, is just as (if not more) focused on how we should treat our neighbor…[our neighbor] is the person we encounter on a daily basis who has a need. Loving our neighbors can certainly take the form of supporting charities, but if we are doing so at the expense of those closest to us – family, friends, people we encounter daily – then we may be running the risk of being like the goats as opposed to the sheep.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“When we give to those in need, it not only benefits the receiver but it benefits us as well…Acts of kindness and sharing are particularly pleasing to God, even when they go unnoticed by others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:17, Hebrews 13:15-16)

“The way to have more to give others is to have less of ourselves, our expectations, plans, and agendas…the need to care for others and to put their well-being first in every encounter remains unchanged.” (Albert S. Rossi, OCPM 9/19/2015)

“Thank God, literally, so many people give. Thank God many with so much give back. Further, God uses our giving, no matter what the motivation, for good. If we stay focused on Christ and our relationship with Him, our giving will flow from that relationship and benefit us as much as it does others.” (Sacramental Living)

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