For alms does deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life:
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Gaudentius of Brescia
Perhaps some rich person might object, “Therefore it must have been with malice that God gave us wealth, if because of it the rich are tormented.” Such people, in fact, advance the wrong-headed idea that God wants to see human beings make mistakes and therefore provides not only the mode of sin but also the reason for it. Not out of malice but out of providence has God made you rich. He intended that through your works of mercy you would again find medicine to treat the wounds of your sins. “Certainly alms freely given preserve one from death and purify from every sin.” The rich man was not tormented because he was rich but because Lazarus suffered hunger while he banqueted. Although holy Abraham had been a rich man, he was a servant of the poor and indigent. Also, holy Job possessed the kingdom of Arabia, but, as it is written, no one was deprived, no poor person left his house empty-handed. And then, when he came to find himself in pain, he was excoriated by his wife for his works of mercy that she implied he had kept working at in vain. “And now,” she says, “here you are suffering.” Whew! See how astutely this poisonous snake offers her venom! Since she could not make him recede from the good works he was doing as a servant of God, she was given to make him repent of the good he had accomplished because he lost the fruit of his goodness. The rich, therefore, should beware of the terrible example of those who enrich themselves at the expense of mercy so that they do not undergo similar tortures. Rather, they should practice almsgiving with generosity, frequency and joy; “God in fact loves one who gives with joy.” They distribute their wealth to the poor, acquiring “treasures in heaven where neither rust nor moth destroy or thieves dig and steal.” Thus, leaving this world, they will be able to find rest in the truly rich bosom of Abraham.