On Charity

From a sermon on charity by Saint Basil the Great, bishop
(Hom. De caritate, 3, 6: PG 31, 266-267, 275)

Man should be like the earth and bear fruit; he should not let inanimate matter appear to surpass him.

The earth bears crops for your benefit, not for its own, but when you give to the poor, you are bearing fruit which you will gather in for yourself, since the reward for good deeds goes to those who perform them.

Give to a hungry man, and what you give becomes yours, and indeed it returns to you with interest.

As the sower profits from wheat that falls onto the ground, so will you profit greatly in the world to come from the bread that you place before a hungry man. Your husbandry must be the sowing of heavenly seed: Sow integrity for yourselves, says Scripture.


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