Joyfully Giving to the Poor

beggarWhy do you complain of giving something to the poor? Why do you display bad temper in the practice of almsgiving? If they see you in that frame of mind, the poor would prefer to refuse your gift. If you give with a brusque demeanour, you are not being generous but lacking gentleness and courtesy. If your face reveals a feeling of hostility you cannot bring comfort to your brother or sister who is living in the midst of hostility. […] Nothing actually causes shame so much as having to receive something from someone else. By show­ing great joyfulness you will succeed in enabling your brother or sis­ter to overcome their sensitivity. They will understand that in your opinion receiving is just as beautiful as giving. By showing bad tem­per, on the other hand, far from cheering them up you will be depressing them even further. If you give gladly, even if you give only a little, it is a big gift. If you give unwillingly, even if you give a big gift, you turn it into a small one.

– St. John Chrysostom

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