Giving with joy

There is much that we can give to others and cooperate in works of assistance to those in need of the most essential things, of formation, of culture? We can give economic goods -even if they are few if we have little at our disposal-, time, company, cordiality? It is a matter of putting at the service of others the talents we have received from the Lord. "Here is an urgent task: to stir the consciences of believers and non-believers - to raise the consciences of men of good will - so that they will cooperate and provide the material instruments necessary to work with souls".

The Gospel of the Mass teaches us that the best reward for generosity on earth is to have given. That is the end of it. Nothing should we then remind others; nothing should be demanded. Ordinarily, it is better for parents not to remind their children of how much they have done for them; nor for wives to remind their husbands of the thousand ways in which they have helped them in difficult times, of their care and patience...; nor for husbands to remind their wives of their hard work to keep the house going.... Everything remains better in the presence of God and noted in the personal history of each one. It is preferable, and more pleasing to the Lord, not to pass the bill for what we did with joy, without any desire to be rewarded, with full generosity. Even to accept that the good deeds that we intend to carry out are sometimes misinterpreted. "I saw blushes on the face of that simple man, and almost tears in his eyes: he generously lent his collaboration in good works, with the honest money he earned, and he knew that "the good ones" called his actions bastards.

"With the naivety of a neophyte in these quarrels of God, he muttered: "You see that I sacrifice myself... and they still sacrifice me!"

"-I spoke to him slowly: he kissed my Crucifix, and his natural indignation was changed into peace and joy."

The Lord tells us that we must understand others, even if they do not understand us (perhaps they cannot at that moment, like the needy invited to the banquet, who could not respond with another invitation). And to love people, even if they ignore us, and to render many small services, even if in similar circumstances they deny them to us. And to make life kind to those around us, even if at times it seems to us that we are not reciprocated? And all with a big heart, without keeping an account of every favor rendered. When we hear the laments and complaints of some who have gone through life - they say - giving and giving without receiving the same attentions, we can suspect that something essential was missing in that giving, perhaps rectitude of intention. For giving can cause neither pain nor fatigue, but rather intimate joy and the realization that the heart is enlarged and that God is pleased with what we have done. "The more generous you are, for God's sake, the happier you will be."

Our Blessed Mother Mary, who with her fiat gave her being and her life to the Lord and to us her children, will help us to reserve nothing for ourselves, and to be generous in the thousand little opportunities that present themselves to us every day.