Lord, show me today a place for goodness,
a time for mercy and an opportunity to show charity.
One of the disciplines associated with the season of Lent is the discipline of almsgiving. The poor are all around us. Yes, physically. Don’t jump to spiritualizing poverty just yet. Let’s not make it merely a metaphor. There will be time for that later.
Too often, we don’t see the poverty right on our own doorstep. Perhaps we don’t see it now because the first time we noticed it we didn’t know what to do about it. Perhaps we felt powerless to stop it, impotent to change it. It may be that we will never be able to make it go away but we can do something little, can we not?
The smallest coin given in charity recollects intrinsic dignity. It says, “You matter and I see you.” It states the worth of a human that has always been there and always will be there. It also has the power to heal our own deliberate blindness. The smallest act of mercy applies grace to oneself as well. In this way, the dime given in love is worth more than ten cents.
We need not look far to find a place for goodness. We need not wait long to encounter a time for mercy. Opportunities for charity are abundant. Simple love is always ripe. Now, look in your own soul and you will see that you too need mercy and goodness. The beggar on the street is you. But do not worry; God has an inexhaustible supply of charity and he is eternally giving in every place.
The person who gives to the poor will lack nothing.