Sunday, July 18, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 18 - The Homeless

"Plenty of strangers wander the roads, and everywhere we see their outstretched hands begging for help. Their home is the open air; they shelter in porticos, streets, and deserted corners of the marketplace, lurking in nooks and crannies like owls, and clothed in tattered rags. Their food is whatever they may get from a passerby, and they drink from the fountains with animals, using the hollow of their hands as a cup. Their storeroom is their pockets if these are not too torn to hold anything. For a table they use their knees pressed together; their bed is the pavement, and to bathe they have simply a river or pool which God gives for the use of everyone. Such is the rough, wandering path they follow, not because their life was like that from the start, but because misfortune has driven them to it.

"You can help them through your fasting. Be generous to your brothers and sisters who are in trouble, giving to the hungry what you deny yourself, and making a fair distribution in the fear of God."

Gregory of Nyssa (AD 330-395), De pauperibus amandis, oratio 1: PG 46, 447-460

Amen. Amen! Let us consider what we can and will sacrifice this week to divert our blessings to the least of these.

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