1. Liberality consists in being ready and willing, for the love of God, to give pecuniary assistance to those who are in need.
He who relieves the needy in order to elicit the praise of others has no claim to the virtue of liberality, for he is not actuated by the love of God. Even the poor may be liberal, for liberality does not depend upon giving largely, but upon giving with a good will; it is the disposition of the giver that makes the gift great or small. The liberal man is like God, for by showing mercy we resemble our heavenly Father, Whose mercy is perfect and infinite. The heathen sage Seneca used to say: “He resembles the gods who distributes to the poor.”
2. By liberality we obtain forgiveness of sin, an eternal reward, and temporal blessings, besides a speedy answer to prayer and the friendship of our fellow-men.
This subject has already been considered. The liberal man rejoices those on whom he bestows his gifts, as the sun gladdens the earth with its rays. Christ could not employ a more forcible argument to urge us to perform works of mercy than by saying that what was given to the poor was given to Him.
This article, 7. LIBERALITY is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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