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Wisdom of Sirach 18:17

Behold, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a gracious man.
Read Chapter 18

Dorotheos of Gaza

AD 565
No one can say, "I am poor, I do not have any way to show mercy." If you cannot give like those who are rich who throw their offering into the treasury box, then give two mites like the poor widow and God will consider this a greater gift than the offerings of the rich. You do not have that much? But you do still have power to be merciful, and with this you can exercise mercy in the service of those who are sick. Can you not do even this? But you can console your brother with words. Therefore be merciful with him by your words, and listen to him who says, "A word is better than a gift." Suppose you cannot exercise mercy with words; still if your brother is mad at you, you can have mercy on him and support him in the midst of his turmoil, seeing that he is being mistreated by a common enemy, and instead of responding with a sharp word and getting him even more upset, keep silent and have mercy on him and his soul, stealing it from the enemy. Even if your brother turns against you, you s...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
When, because of hunger, one is constrained to beg and because of his begging he is compelled to act shamefully, and then because of acting shamefully he endures reproach"then the weight of despondency becomes rather complex and is accompanied by a darkness that settles on the soul. The one who takes care of such people should do so in a way that is long-suffering, rather than in a way that will only increase their despondency with further irritations. But he should also mitigate the majority of his already despondent nature with encouragement. For just as the one who has been insulted, even though he may be enjoying great abundance does not feel the advantage of his wealth because of the blow that he has received from the insult, in the same way, one who has been addressed with kind words and for whom the gift has been accompanied with encouragement, exults and rejoices all the more. That which he has been given is doubled in value because of the way in which it was offered. - "On the...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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