Let it not grieve you to bow down your ear to the poor, and give him a friendly answer with meekness.
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The wisest of people understands the avarice and pride of human nature. He considers the nature of poverty and its terrible power to depress even the most generous spirit and to induce it often to act without shame. And so, in order that a person should not be irritated when accosted or be provoked by the continual placing of demands on him so that he becomes an enemy when he ought to bring help, such a person is instructed to be affable and accessible to the one who is asking him for things by the words, "Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently." And passing over the case of one who succeeds in exasperating"for what can one say to him who is overcome?"he addresses the person who is able to bear the other"s infirmity, exhorting him before he bestows his gift to correct the suppliant by the gentleness of his countenance and the mildness of his words. - "On the Priesthood 3.16 (304)"
The divine voice admonishes each one of us through the language of the holy Scriptures, "Honor the Lord with your belongings." In another passage it says, "Pay your debt." God is a tender and mild master. He invites us to spend the goods of our earthly belongings! He says, "Honor the Lord with your belongings." Everything that is given to us is his, and yet, he affirms that it is ours so that we can give it away. Thus, he calls the ownership of these possessions ours so that there may be a greater reward for work since we spend more time and effort on possessions that belong to us, and in this way the worker necessarily receives a considerably greater reward for his labor.
The Lord has said that the ownership is ours. However, in order that our soul not become too proud, he adds, "Pay back your debt." If a person is not induced to be generous from his devotion, however, he will be constrained to pay from necessity. If faith is of no help to persuade a saint to operate, that which oblig...