The reward for generosity

 Nothing is lost in what we do for the benefit of others. Giving widens the heart and makes it young, and increases its capacity to love. Selfishness dwarfs, limits one's horizon and makes it poor and short. On the contrary, the more we give, the richer the soul becomes. Sometimes we will not see the fruits, nor will we reap any human gratitude; it will be enough for us to know that Christ himself is the object of our generosity. Nothing is lost. You," comments St. Augustine, "do not now see the importance of the good you do; nor does the farmer, when sowing, have the harvest before him; but he trusts in the earth. Why do you not trust in God? The day will come when we will reap our harvest. Imagine that we are now in the labors of tillage; but we till to reap later, according to that which is written in Scripture: They went on their way and wept, casting forth their seed; when they return, they shall come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves (Ps. 125)". Charity is not discouraged if it does not see immediate results; it knows how to wait, it is patient.

Generosity opens the way to man's vital need to give. The heart that does not know how to bring good to those around it, to society itself, becomes incapacitated, grows old and dies. When we give, our hearts rejoice, and we are better able to understand the Lord, who gave his life as a ransom for all. When St. Paul thanks the philanthropists, we are able to understand the Lord, who gave his life for all. When St. Paul thanks the Philippians for the help they have given him, he teaches them that he is happy not so much for the benefit he has received but, above all, for the fruit that the alms will bring to themselves: so that the interest on your account will increase, he tells them. That is why St. Leo the Great recommends "that whoever distributes alms should do so with unconcern and joy, since the less he keeps for himself, the greater the profit he will make."

St. Paul also encouraged the early Christians to live generosity with joy, for God loves a cheerful giver11. No one - much less the Lord - can be pleased with a service or almsgiving done reluctantly or sadly: "If you give bread sadly," says St. Augustine, "you have lost the bread and the reward. On the other hand, the Lord is enthusiastic about the giving of those who give and give out of love, with spontaneity, without calculation....