“He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45
When we are urged by the children of poverty to assist them, we do well to distinguish between the precious and the vile, between those whose petitions flow from necessity and those who fly to beggary as a trade. To bestow our benefactions on the latter would often be to sanction practices alike disgraceful to the individual and injurious to the community. Yet on the other hand, we must not shut up the affections of compassion even from the unworthy. While relieving the palpable wretchedness in which we may sometimes see them involved, we can scarcely fail to recollect, as a motive to our kind interposition, that if God showed kindness only to those whose characters entitled them to expect it, the condition of the best would soon become forlorn and hopeless. It may be said, “Men of bad principles will make an ill use of your bounty.” What then? The goodness exemplified under such circumstances assimilates us to our Father who is in Heaven, who “sends rain on the just and unjust.” This recollection, combined with a prudential regard to the best method of treating each particular case, will secure us alike from the imputation of harshness and from the danger of encouraging idle and profligate habits; it will preserve our charitable feelings, without suffering the exercise of them to prejudice the community. “Do not forget to do good and to share.”
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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