Almsgiving According To St. Augustine
In this second piece on Almsgiving this Lent, we’ll cover 3 things we can do right now to close our penitential season in a strong and meaningful way.
We often think of “alms” as giving to the Church or a charity, maybe sometimes an individual in need, and these are great and needed practices. Particularly, now during the global pandemic, not for profit organizations like Integrity Restored need your help more than ever. But, what if I told you there were other “alms” we could give right now? I have used the wise counsel of St. Augustine and his writing, Faith, Hope and Love as the basis for this letter.
1) Alms for yourself
In Luke Ch. 11, we read “Give alms, and behold everything is clean for you”. St. Augustine tells us that in order to effectively give alms to others, we must first start with ourselves. To give “alms” means to show mercy and often we need to start with that mercy for ourselves and our shortcomings. Our soul will drive our correction and is literally, like the beggar at the gate, asking us to forgive ourselves so that we can feel the incredible mercy and forgiveness of our Father in Heaven.
2) Alms for your family
Every one of us has, at one point or another, harbored a grudge or held on to a hurt caused by one of our family members. It can often be far more difficult for us to forgive someone close to us than a stranger on the street. As St. Augustine said: “Again, let there be in mild-mannered and humble spirits a compassionate ease in forgiving. Let the one who has done an injury ask pardon; let the one who has suffered an injury grant pardon; so that we may not be possessed by Satan, whose triumph is the discord of Christians. And this, you see, is an alms deed of great value and profit, to forgive your fellow servant a debt, so that you may be released from your debts by the Lord.”
May the hope of the Resurrection strengthen and comfort you as we head into the close of Lent during these difficult times. If you are able and according to your means, we ask that you prayerfully consider supporting our mission here at Integrity Restored right now. Those we serve need your help, prayers and mercy.