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“In A.D. 368 when Cappadocia was stricken with a dire famine, the suffering was intense. Basil distributed the entirety of his inheritance to the poor. He also used Church funds to open soup kitchens where he was often found serving food, girded with an apron. Some of the people in his social class, however, both held on to their money and enjoyed profit from the higher prices resulting from decreased supply and increased demand. We are fortunate to still possess the text of a homily he preached to his peers during this crisis: “You refuse to give on the pretext that you haven’t got enough for your own need. But while your tongue makes excuses, your hand convicts you––that ring shining on your finger silently declares you to be a liar! How many debtors could be released from prison with one of those rings! How many shivering people could be clothed from only one of your wardrobes? And yet you turn the poor away empty-handed.”

—from the book When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers

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“Only in Christ can men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them. Only in Christ can they fully understand their dignity as persons created and loved by God.”

— Pope St. John Paul II

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“There is nothing to be dreaded in human ills except sin—not poverty, or disease, or insult, or ill treatment, or dishonor, or death, which people call the worst of evils. To those who love spiritual wisdom, these things are only the names of disasters, names that have no substance. No, the true disaster is to offend God, to do anything that displeases him.”

— St. John Chrysostom

 

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